HERSHEY, PA -- Hershey Co.’s earnings climbed 18% in the second quarter as demand for its core candy brands grew and costs for confection ingredients declined.
Hershey's profit rose to $159.5 million, or 70¢ a share, from $135.7 million, or 59¢ a share, a year earlier. Sales increased to $1.51 billion from $1.41 billion, or 7%.
The maker of Hershey's Chocolate Bars, Reese's and Kit Kat raised its forecast for 2013 earnings per share to a range of $3.68 to $3.71 from a prior outlook of $3.61 to $3.65. It said it expected full-year sales to increase about 7%.
The candymaker said sales growth will be driven by core brand volume growth and innovations. These include Kit Kat Minis, Twizzlers Bites and Jolly Rancher Bites in the U.S., Hershey's Mais candy in Brazil, and the fourth-quarter launch of Hershey's Kisses Deluxe and Hershey's Drops chocolates in China.