Quarterly earnings

Hershey sweet on Halloween sales after ‘solid’ Q3 growth driven by Reese’s, KitKat and Kisses

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey’s and Reese’s Popped Snack Mix and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels are part of the company's new warehouse-based snacks initiative.
Hershey’s and Reese’s Popped Snack Mix and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels are part of the company's new warehouse-based snacks initiative.
Hershey says launching Hershey’s Gold, a caramelized crème with peanuts and pretzels, could benefit its 2017 Halloween seasonal sales after delivering 'solid' Q3 financial results.

The chocolate company’s Q3 earnings net sales were up 1.5% compared to last year, reaching $2.03bn – such “solid”​ results were in line with Hershey’s expectations, said CEO Michele Buck.

“The investments we’re making in our power chocolate brands - Reese’s, Hershey’s, KitKat and Kisses - are resonating with consumers in the marketplace as evidenced by the third-quarter combined US retail takeaway on these brands of about 5%,”​ she said.

“While early, our new warehouse-based snacks initiative is off to a good start with Hershey’s and Reese’s Popped Snack Mix and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels progressing as planned,”​ Buck added.

Hershey Q3
Source: Hershey

Additionally, Hershey’s advertising and related consumer marketing expense increased 3.7% versus Q3 of 2016, while its reported gross profit grew to $940m by the end of this period, compared to $851m last year.

Candy, mint and gum growth in NA retail

Hershey’s Q3 North America sales posted $1.79bn, growing by 1.6% versus a year ago, while its nine months-to-date sales recorded $4.95bn, growing by 2.1% annually, according to the company.

“Total Hershey US retail takeaway from the 12 weeks ended October 8, 2017 increased 1% in the expanded multi-outlet combined plus convenience store channels,”​ the company said.

Hershey’s US candy, minty and gum’s (CMG) retail takeaway increased 1.4%, with market share losing 0.3 points. However, “given our strong performance in the first half of the year, our year-to-date CMG market share is up one point,”​ Hershey added.

Hershey recently launched Ice Breakers ice cube gum and Jolly Rancher Sour Surge candy​ at the NACS Show in Chicago to expand its CMG portfolio.

“Our brands typically respond positively to marketplace investments and there is no change to our full-year North America advertising and related consumer marketing outlook,”​ Hershey said.

The company expected its full-year 2017 constant currency net sales growth to be around 1.25%. 

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