The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Mar 07, 2019 • 10:00 am ET


The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning and welcome to the Kroger Company Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) After today's presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. (Operator Instructions) Please note, this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Rebekah Manis, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Rebekah Manis

Thank you, Laura. Good morning, and thank you for joining us. Before we begin, I want to remind you that today's discussions will include forward-looking statements. We want to caution you that such statements are predictions and actual events or results could differ materially. A detailed discussion of the many factors that we believe may have a material effect on our business on an ongoing basis is contained in our SEC filings that Kroger assumes no obligation to update that information. Both our fourth quarter press release and our prepared remarks from this conference call will be available on our website at After our prepared remarks, we look forward to taking your questions. In order to cover a broad range of topics from as many of you as we can we ask that you please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up question, if necessary. Thank you.

I will now turn the call over to Kroger's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rodney McMullen.

W. Rodney McMullen

Thank you, Rebekah, and good morning, everyone. Before we get started, I want to acknowledge that the team here at Kroger realizes that we have our work cut out for us as the market points out this morning. We realized business transformations are harder part, but I want to emphasize we are on track to deliver on our Restock Kroger commitments. We look forward to our time together to take your questions and try to better lay things out for you. Joining me on today's call are Mike Schlotman; Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Gary Millerchip for the first time, Mike's successor, who will become Kroger's CFO on April 4th. As previously announced, Mike will continue to serve as EVP and a member of our senior team until the end of the year. We can't say enough how grateful the entire Kroger team is for Mike's service, leadership and stewardship of the company for the last 34 years. Especially during the last 19 as CFO.

We are also incredibly fortunate to have Gary, who's deep finance and business background combined with the successful track record of creating shareholder value as a member of our senior officer team makes him the right person to carry Kroger forward. This is especially true as Kroger transforms from grocer to growth company. I've talked before about the need for retail companies to constantly reinvent themselves in order to remain relevant. This constant reinvention takes place at least every decade, Gary has been instrumental in helping us think through our transformation as part of Restock Kroger and beyond. He is uniquely positioned to be Kroger's Chief Financial