Wrigley's Earnings Jump 15%

The company says solid sales of Orbit and Juicy Fruits gum help boost profit.
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Chewing-gum maker



reported a 15% increase in third-quarter earnings, helped by solid sales of its Orbit and Juicy Fruits gum, as well as currency effects.

In the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company earned $113 million, or 50 cents a share, matching analysts' estimates. This compares with $98.5 million, or 44 cents a share, a year ago, which included a charge of 3 cents a share from investigating a partnership with

Hershey Foods

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Wrigley said that excluding the effects of currency, earnings per share rose 7%.

Global sales during the quarter rose 12% to $783 million, the company said. On a currency-neutral basis, global sales increased 7%. Sales in the Americas region were up 8% on a 4% volume gain.

The Chicago-based company said it introduced new products during the quarter, including two new Juicy Fruit offerings: Grapermelon and Strappleberry; Wildberry Frost-flavored Extra; and two new flavors of Orbit: Cinnamint and Bubblemint.

Shares were nonetheless down 61 cents, or 1.1%, at $55.44 in afternoon trading.