Revival of on-the-go snacking helps Hershey lift annual sales outlook
With Americans stepping out more after vaccinations and the relaxation of lockdowns, demand has rebounded for on-the-go consumables and refreshments after a year of weak sales.
Sales at Hershey’s mainstay North America business rose 12.3% in the second quarter as consumers munched on SkinnyPop popcorn and gluten-free snack Pirate’s Booty.
The company also reported a 70.2% surge in overseas market sales, marking a revival in a business that suffered last year due to coronavirus restrictions and the pandemic’s impact on consumer spending.
Overall, net sales jumped nearly 17% to $1.99 billion, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $1.84 billion.
The U.S. chocolatier said it expected 2021 net sales to rise between 6% and 8%, compared with a prior forecast of 4% to 6% growth. Analysts expected annual sales to be up nearly 6%, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
But Hershey maintained its annual adjusted profit outlook of $6.79 to $6.92 per share, citing higher supply chain costs.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.47 per share in the quarter ended July 4, beating expectations of $1.43 per share.