US confectionery major Hershey Foods has reaffirmed that it expects its FY 2002 earnings per share-diluted from operations to meet its stated objective of 9%-11% growth, and that earnings per share-diluted from operations for the Q2 will be above the range.

The company said that it is continuing to improve its cost structure and is well positioned to meet Back-to-School/Halloween demand, as all production facilities are once again fully operational.

Q2 revenues are anticipated to be somewhat above Q2 last year, with strong gains in core brands partially offset by the impact of portfolio rationalisation and some minor shipment delays resulting from the recent work stoppage.

Richard H. Lenny, chairman, president and CEO, said: "The strong finish to the quarter demonstrates the commitment and dedication of our operations employees as they quickly resumed full production. This performance positions Hershey well for the all-important fall selling seasons."