Higher volumes drive sweet profits at Hershey

Higher volumes drive sweet profits at Hershey

US chocolate maker Hershey today (26 April) booked an increase in first quarter earnings, which were boosted by higher sales volumes.

The company said that net income for the quarter to 3 April rose to US$160.1m, up from $147.3m last year.

Sales climbed 11.1% to $1.5bn, with gains driven "primarily by volume", the company said.

"Net sales gains were driven by core brand growth in both US and international markets, new products and a seasonal shift in volume from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year," president and CEO David West revealed.

Hershey was also able to grow its share of the US market - which accounts for around 80% of sales - by 0.5%. "This performance reflects solid market share gains within our core chocolate and sugar confectionery businesses as well as the successful U.S. launches of Hershey's Drops and Reese's Minis," West said.

While West said that input costs were "significantly higher" in the quarter, the group was able to expand its gross margin due to supply chain efficiencies, some of which was the consequence of greater volumes, as well as higher levels of productivity.

Click here for the full financial release from Hershey.