The Hershey Co. announces sales and earnings for the fourth quarter ended Dec.31, 2012. Consolidated net sales were $1,751,035,000 compared with $1,567,145,000 for the fourth quarter of 2011. Reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $149,879,000 or $0.66 per share-diluted, compared with $142,133,000 or $0.62 per share-diluted for the comparable period of 2011.
“Hershey’s fourth quarter financial and marketplace results represent a strong finish to 2012 and validate our strategy of focusing investments in the U.S. and key international geographies,” said John P. Bilbrey, president and chief executive officer, the Hershey Co., in a prepared statement. “As expected, fourth quarter marketplace performance was solid and we gained market share in every category – chocolate, non-chocolate, mint and gum. We had solid seasonal growth in 2012, with retail sell-through in measured channels in line with our estimates. Additionally, for the combined four seasons, and the important Halloween period, our market share gain was identical, 0.8 points. Our solid financial performance gave us flexibility in our approach to investments in global go-to-market capabilities that will benefit Hershey over the near and long-term. We’ll build on our success in 2013 and are confident that our plans will drive core brand volume growth in U.S. and international markets.”
For the fourth quarter of 2012, these results, prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), included net pre-tax charges of $24.3 million or $0.08 per share-diluted. These charges included $7.9 million, or $0.03 per share-diluted, related to the Project Next Century program, non-service-related pension expense (NSRPE) of $7.6 million, or $0.02 per share-diluted, and acquisition and integration costs related to Brookside Foods Ltd. (Brookside) of $1.3 million. Additionally, the company recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $7.5 million, or $0.03 per share-diluted, related to its 69 percent investment in Tri-US, Inc. of Boulder, Colorado, a company that manufactured nutritional beverages under the “mix1®” brand name. As a result, reported gross margin of 43.1 percent increased 280 basis points versus last year while reported income before interest and income taxes (EBIT) margin of 14.4 percent declined 20 basis points versus 2011. For the fourth quarter of 2011, results included pre-tax charges for Project Next Century and the Global Supply Chain Transformation Program of $27.7 million, or $0.08 per share-diluted, and $1.0 million of NSRPE. Adjusted net income, which excludes these net charges, was $169,186,000, or $0.74 per share-diluted, in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with $160,325,000, or $0.70 per share-diluted, in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 5.7 percent in adjusted earnings per share-diluted.
For the full-year 2012, consolidated net sales were $6,644,252,000, compared with $6,080,788,000 in 2011, an increase of 9.3 percent. Reported net income for 2012 was $660,931,000, or $2.89 per share-diluted, compared with $628,962,000 or $2.74 per share-diluted, for 2011. For the full-years 2012 and 2011, these results, prepared in accordance with GAAP, included net pre-tax charges of $117.7 million and $35.0 million, or $0.35 and $0.09 per share-diluted, respectively. Charges associated with the Project Next Century program for 2012 and 2011 were $76.3 million and $43.4 million, or $0.22 and $0.11 per share-diluted, respectively. NSRPE for 2012 and 2011 was $20.6 million and $2.8 million, or $0.06 and $0.01 per share-diluted, respectively.