CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here said last week it is on the verge of reaching its synergy savings goal of $380 million a full year ahead of schedule. The company said combined synergy savings from its 1999 merger with Fred Meyer Inc. rose $36 million during the first quarter ended May 26 to an annual run rate of $366 million -- "well on the way toward achieving and exceeding the combined synergy savings goal by the end of fiscal 2001," Joseph A. Pichler, chairman and chief executive officer, ...

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