Investments help drive earnings gain at Hershey

by Staff
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HERSHEY, PA. — With the candy, mint and gum category outpacing historical category growth, income for The Hershey Co. was up 4% during the second quarter.

For the quarter ended July 1, the company had income of $135,685,000, equal to 62c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $130,019,000, or 59c per share, in the same period a year ago. Sales for the quarter were $1,414,444,000, up 7% from $1,325,171,000.

“The Hershey Co. reported another quarter of solid marketplace and financial results,” said John P. Bilbrey, president and chief executive officer. “The investments we have made in our business over the last few years have enabled us to deliver predictable, profitable and sustainable growth despite the challenging global macroeconomic conditions that continue to exist. In the second quarter, Hershey’s net sales increased 6.7%. Net price realization was a 6.6 point benefit, slightly better than we expected, and volume, excluding the Brookside acquisition, was off 1.1 points due to volume elasticity associated with the pricing action taken last year. The Brookside acquisition was a 2.4 point benefit in the quarter and foreign currency exchange rate a 1.2 point headwind. Over the remainder of the year, excluding the benefit of the Brookside acquisition, we expect the organic net sales contribution from net price realization and volume to be more balanced.”

For the six months ended July 1, the company had income of $334,336,000, or $1.52 per share, up 15% from $290,134,000, or $1.31 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the six months were $3,146,508,000, up 9% from $2,889,394,000.

For the full-year 2012, the company expects diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.88 to $2.98.

“We continue to expect input costs in 2012 will be higher than last year and there is no material change to our full-year inflation outlook,” Mr. Bilbrey said. “As previously mentioned, due to greater net price realization we now expect adjusted gross margin to increase 100 to 120 basis points. This is greater than our previous estimate of about a 90 to 100 basis point increase. As previously mentioned, S.M.&A. costs, including advertising, are on track. As a result, we expect full-year adjusted earnings per share-diluted growth of 12% to 14%. This is greater than our previous estimate of a 10% to 12% increase.”

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