CINCINNATI, Sept. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co.'s (NYSE: KR) Board of Directors today declared a quarterly dividend of 12.5¢ per share to be paid on December 1, 2017, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 15, 2017.
"We are committed to delivering shareholder value," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Kroger has returned more than $2.2 billion to shareholders over the last four quarters through share buybacks and dividends combined."
In June, Kroger's Board raised the quarterly dividend from 48¢ to 50¢ per year. Kroger's quarterly dividend has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 13.0% since reinstating the dividend in 2006. The company continues to expect, subject to board approval, an increasing dividend over time. Kroger remains committed to balancing its use of cash flow over the near term to achieve the leverage ratios appropriate to maintain its current investment-grade rating level.
At The Kroger Co., we are dedicated to our purpose: to Feed the Human SpiritTM. We are 450,000 associates who serve nearly nine million customers in 2,793 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Our Family of Companies operates an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized order online service – in addition to 2,258 pharmacies, 783 convenience stores, 307 fine jewelry stores, 222 retail health clinics, 1,472 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Our Company has been recognized as one of America's most generous companies for our support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. As a leader in supplier diversity, we are a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about the future performance of the company. These statements are based on management's assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Such statements are indicated by the words "committed," "continues" and "expect." Our ability to continue to repurchase shares, fund dividends, and increase our dividend over time will be affected by our ability to generate free cash flow at the levels anticipated and our ability to generate expected operating results. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. We assume no obligation to update the information contained herein. Please refer to Kroger's reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties.
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SOURCE The Kroger Co.