“Hershey had a solid 2012 and we expect to build on our success in 2013,” says Hershey’s CEO.
The Hershey Co. has announced sales and earnings for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012. Consolidated net sales were $1,751,035,000 compared with $1,567,145,000 for the fourth quarter of 2011. Reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $149,879,000 or $0.66 per share-diluted, compared with $142,133,000 or $0.62 per share-diluted for the comparable period of 2011.
“Hershey’s fourth quarter financial and marketplace results represent a strong finish to 2012 and validate our strategy of focusing investments in the U.S. and key international geographies,” said John Bilbrey, president and CEO, The Hershey Co. “As expected, fourth quarter marketplace performance was solid and we gained market share in every category—chocolate, non-chocolate, mint and gum. We had solid seasonal growth in 2012, with retail sell-through in measured channels in line with our estimates. Additionally, for the combined four seasons, and the important Halloween period, our market share gain was identical, 0.8 points. Our solid financial performance gave us flexibility in our approach to investments in global go-to-market capabilities that will benefit Hershey over the near and long-term. We’ll build on our success in 2013 and are confident that our plans will drive core brand volume growth in U.S. and international markets.”
Other highlights include:
• Fourth quarter and full-year 2012 net sales increase 11.7% and 9.3%, respectively
• Fourth quarter earnings per share-diluted of $0.66 as reported and $0.74 adjusted
• Full-year 2012 earnings per share-diluted of $2.89 as reported and $3.24 adjusted
• The outlook for 2013 net sales reaffirmed, earnings per share-diluted increased: Full-year net sales expected to increase 5-7%, driven primarily by volume; reported earnings per share-diluted expected to be $3.47 to $3.56; adjusted earnings per share-diluted expected to increase 10-12% and be in the $3.56 to $3.63 range, greater than the previous estimate of an 8-10% increase.
The Company expects 2013 net sales growth of 5-7%, including the impact of foreign currency exchange rates. Net sales will be driven primarily by core brand volume growth, the U.S. launch of the Brookside product line in the food, drug and mass channels, as well as innovation such as Kit Kat mini’s, Twizzlers Bites, Jolly Rancher Bites and yet to be announced products. In key international markets such as China, the Company will extend the portfolio with the introduction of Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe and build on the fourth quarter launch of Hershey’s solid chocolate products in instant consumable and take home pack types. In Brazil, new capacity was installed to support geographic expansion of Hershey’s Mais chocolate.
“Hershey had a solid 2012 and we expect to build on our success in 2013,” continued Bilbrey. “In 2012 we opened one of the most technologically advanced chocolate manufacturing facilities in our hometown of Hershey, Pa, initiated and completed construction of a new innovation center in Shanghai, successfully integrated the Brookside business and increased market share in key geographies as well as across all channels in our U.S. business. While the macroeconomic environment remains challenging, we are well positioned to succeed in the marketplace and deliver on our commitments in 2013,” Bilbrey concluded.