Hershey Company records global quarter sales growth of 2.3% to $2.02 billion

The US-based Hershey Company has reported net sales of $2.02 billion for the first quarter of 2019, showing an increase of 2.3% across its international confectionery operations.

Its reported net income for the period¬† was $304.4 million,¬† with the company’s net sales were $1.8 billion million in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 3.2% versus the same period last year.

Total Hershey U.S. retail takeaway for the year to date period ended April 14, 2019, in the expanded multi-outlet combined plus convenience store channels (IRI MULO + C-Stores) decreased 5.2% versus the prior-year period. Hershey’s U.S. candy, mint and gum retail takeaway decreased 6.0%. According to the company, these results were driven by a late Easter season and were in-line with expectations.

North America advertising and related consumer marketing increased 1.1% in the first quarter of 2019 versus the same period last year. Media and production efficiency gains enabled by new capabilities drove double digit consumer impression growth through modest dollar spend increases. Favourable sales, adjusted gross margin and marketing and administrative costs resulted in a segment income increase of 5.7% to $564.8 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $534.4 million in the first quarter of 2018.

However, the company’s sales for the rest of the world were down 3.9%, to $209 million, though of that figure, relative net income for the quarter increased by 14.5%, to $20.2 million, driven by gains from volume growth and gross margin expansion. The company noted combined net sales growth of 3% for its markets in China, Mexico, Brazil and India.

“Our year has gotten off to a strong start and we are on track to deliver our financial commitments,” said Michele Buck, The Hershey Company president and CEO. “We remain committed to delivering balanced growth today, while making key investments in our brands, capabilities and people to take the business to the next level in the future.”

Full-year reported net sales are expected to increase in the 1% to 3% range. The net impact of acquisitions and divestitures is estimated to be approximately a 0.5 point benefit and the foreign currency exchange rate impact is expected to be minimal based on current exchange rates.

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