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CINCINNATI-Kroger executives would not speak specifically yesterday about any interest in the Albertsons portfolio during a conference call on their Q2 results. If the grocer does make an acquisition, it would likely be in areas where it currently has a presence, says David Dillion, the company’s chairman and CEO.

“We think we’ve had best results, over time, in those markets where we have infill,” he said. Analysts have speculated that Kroger may acquire some of Albertsons’ stores in some West Coast markets where it does not have a presence.

During Kroger’s Q2, which ended Aug. 13, year-over-year same-store sales were up 5.1% including fuel sales and 3.4% without. Total sales increased 6.8%, to $13.9 billion.

For the rest of the year, executives predict that same-store sales will jump 3%, excluding fuel, and without taking into account effects from Hurricane Katrina. Capital expenditures for the full year are expected to run between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion.

Kroger operates 2,515 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 32 states under about two dozen banners including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, Smith’s and Smith’s Marketplace, Fry’s and Fry’s Marketplace, Dillons, QFC and City Market.

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