NEW YORK -- Kroger Co., Cincinnati, is "raising the bar" on anticipated financial performance in the wake of its pending merger with Fred Meyer, Inc., Portland, Ore., Joseph A. Pichler, chairman and chief executive officer, told an investors meeting here. "The primary driver of this transaction is growth and not consolidation," Pichler said at the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Food & Drug Retail Conference. Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chief financial officer, outlined at the conference a ...

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