Third Quarter Performance and Outlook
“The Hershey Company delivered another good quarter of core brand growth driven by solid performance within key retail channels,” said John P. Bilbrey, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company. “Importantly, Hershey U.S. candy, mint and gum (CMG) retail takeaway for the 12 weeks ended October 6, 2012, in the expanded all outlet combined plus convenience store channels (xAOC+C-store), which accounts for approximately 90 percent of our U.S. retail business, was up 5.9 percent, resulting in a market share gain of 1.1 points. Our performance was solid in the convenience and dollar store channels with volume and unit trends positive. Overall, Hershey’s results were balanced as we gained xAOC+C-store market share within all segments of CMG. I’m particularly pleased with our chocolate marketplace performance where we gained 0.4 market share points driven by core brands and new products. Our CMG volume and unit trends at retail continue to progress and we expect sequential improvement in the fourth quarter. Additionally, Halloween sales are off to a good start with solid programming, merchandising and promotions being executed in the marketplace.
“In the third quarter, Hershey's net sales increased 7.5 percent. Net price realization was a 3.9 point benefit and volume, excluding the Brookside acquisition, was up 2.1 points. The organic volume gain was primarily driven by new products. Core brand volume trends have improved sequentially throughout the year and were slightly up in the third quarter. The Brookside acquisition was a 2.3 point benefit in the third quarter, slightly better than our initial estimates, and foreign currency exchange rates a 0.8 point headwind. For the full year, we expect the Brookside acquisition to be about a 1.75 to 2.0 point benefit to net sales as our initial supply chain analysis resulted in initiatives that enabled us to optimize product sales mix.