CINCINNATI, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co.'s (NYSE: KR) Board of Directors today raised the quarterly dividend by 10 percent, to 16.5 cents per share, to be paid on December 1, 2013 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 15, 2013. "This increase reflects the Board of Directors' continued confidence that our Customer 1 st strategy delivers sustainable shareholder value," said David B. Dillon, Kroger's chairman and chief executive officer. "Since we reinstated dividends in 2006, Kroger has returned more than $8.3 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases." Kroger has delivered double-digit compound growth in its dividend since it was reinstated in 2006. The company continues to expect an increasing dividend over time. Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,418 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 783 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,195 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club. This press release contains a forward-looking statement, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about the future performance of the company. This statement is based on management's assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Such statement is indicated by the word "expect." Our ability to continue to increase our dividend over time, will be affected by our inability to generate free cash flow at the levels anticipated and our failure to generate expected operating results. This forward-looking statement is subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. We assume no obligation to update the information contained herein. Please refer to Kroger's reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties. SOURCE The Kroger Co.