Hershey Foods has reported consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter to 31 December of US$1.16bn, compared with $1.15bn for the same period of 2001.

Net income was $130m, or 96 cents per share, compared with a loss of $44.9m, or 33 cents per share, in 2001.

The results for the fourth quarter of 2002 included a pre-tax charge of $13.3m, or 6 cents per share, associated with the business realignment initiatives announced in October 2001.

Excluding the one-time items, net income for the fourth quarter of 2002 was $138.7m, compared with $130.5m, a gain of 7.4%.

For the full year 2002, consolidated net sales were $4.12bn, compared with $4.14bn for 2001. Net income for 2002 was $403.6m, compared with $207.2m in the prior year.

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Results for 2002 included cumulative pre-tax realignment charges of $34.0m and pre-tax expenses of $17.2m related to the exploration of the sale of the company.

Excluding one-time items, net income for 2002 was $436.0m, compared with $391.5m for 2001, an increase of 11.6%.