Hershey posts improved first quarter results, despite wider global market challenges

Hershey, PA / USA - November 26, 2019: Merchandise, souvenirs, clothing, and candy are on sale at Hershey's Chocolate World.

Hershey has reported first quarter growth for its global operations, posting net sales of $2.6 billion, up 16%, driven by sustained consumer demand, writes Neill Barston.

The US confectionery giant, which will be heading to Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago later this month, said there were also favourable pricing conditions across all of its markets, which bolstered its overall financial position.

Notably, the company recorded net profits of $533 million, up 35% for the period, which also proved an encouraging sign, against a wider global market backdrop of challenging conditions impacted by supply chain issues and the ongoing effects of the pandemic.

However, as the company noted, sales from the acquisition of Pretzels, Dot’s and Lily’s drew a 4.6-point benefit to the business, as did an increase in confectionery volumes and distributors replenishing stocks at an increased rate, particularly within its North American divisions

By segment, the company’s US interests delivered net sales of $2,2 billion in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 11.7% versus the same period last year, with retail sales in the region showing growth of 8% driven by brands including Jolly Rancher and Twizzlers.

There were also encouraging signs for its rest of the world results, with first-quarter 2022 net sales for Hershey’s International segment increased 17.9% year-on-year to $223.1 million. Notably, the International segment reported a $42.0 million profit in the first quarter of 2022, reflecting an increase of $14.6 million versus the prior-year period. The improved position was reportedly achieved by an increase in product volumes, price adjustments, and enhancement of its model of operating in China.

“We delivered strong double-digit sales and earnings growth with ongoing momentum across business units,” said Michele Buck, The Hershey Company President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our fast start, sustained consumer relevancy and increased visibility into our recently acquired businesses give us the confidence to increase our full-year net sales and earnings outlook despite an increasingly challenging and inflationary environment.”

VP of convenience retail operations to retire

The company has also confirmed that Dave Onorato, vice president of the company’s convenience store retail operations is set to retire this autumn, after 38 years in the industry.

Speaking about his commitment to the business, the company praised his ‘positive energy and legendary fighting spirit,’ and his attitude to his work has resulted in him agreeing to stay on until the end of September in a transition role.

Dave’s connection to convenience store sales spans more than two decades since he first assumed the role of national director of convenience store sales in 2002. By 2005 he was named vice president of global convenience store sales, where he was responsible for developing Hershey’s global c-store customers. A year later, he assumed responsibility for special trade classes (vending, fundraising and concession), as well as food-service and dollar store sales. He was named vice president/general manager of all Hershey small format business in 2015.

As the company concluded, he has been widely recognised for both his work in sales and for advancing diversity within the industry. Dave is a member of the National Candy Association, NACS, Convenience Distributors Association, and NAMA. In 2012, he was elected into the NCSA Candy Hall of Fame, and most recently inducted into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame in 2020.


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