US grocery chain Kroger said second quarter earnings fell 28% on the back of higher operating costs and fierce competition. Kroger also warned full-year results would be near the low end of its target or could fall below the range.

Earnings before tax for the period fell to $305m from $423m on total sales that rose 3.6% to $12.4bn. Like-for-like sales, excluding fuel fell 0.9%. Kroger CEO David Billon was encouraged by the results “in the light of intense competition and continued economic uncertainty”.