The Hershey Company announced net sales and earnings for the third quarter ending October 2, 2022, and raised its full-year financial outlook.
"Third quarter results came in ahead of our expectations, as our increased brand investments and improved supply chain helped support resilient consumer demand and drove category growth across all business segments," Michele Buck, The Hershey Company president and chief executive officer, said in the announcement. "Marketplace share and gross margin trends improved versus the second quarter, and we have strong momentum exiting the year. Given our performance to date and visibility into the fourth quarter, we are raising our net sales and earnings outlook for the year."
Third-quarter 2022 financial results summary
- Consolidated net sales of $2,728.2 million, an increase of 15.6%.
- Organic, constant currency net sales increased 11.8%.
- The impact of acquisitions on net sales was a 4.1-point benefit while foreign currency exchange was a 0.3-point headwind.
- Reported net income of $399.5 million and $1.94 earnings per share-diluted, a decrease of 9.3%.
- Adjusted earnings per share-diluted of $2.17, an increase of 3.3%.
2022 full-year financial outlook
The Hershey Company is increasing its net sales growth and earnings-per-share outlook to reflect higher than anticipated consumer demand and favorable price elasticities across segments.
The company is also updating guidance on the following:
- A reported and adjusted effective tax rate of approximately 14% to 15%, a slight reduction versus the prior outlook, driven by timing and value of renewable energy tax credits.
- Other expense, which primarily reflects the write-down of equity investments that qualify for tax credits, of approximately $205 million, higher than the previous outlook to reflect an increased amount of renewable energy tax credits.
- Interest expense of approximately $135 million to $140 million, reflecting higher interest rates on commercial paper
- Capital expenditures of approximately $600 million.
Third-quarter 2022 consolidated results
Consolidated net sales increased 15.6% to $2,728.2 million in the third quarter of 2022, including a 4.1-point benefit from the acquisitions of Pretzels and Dot's. Organic, constant currency sales increased 11.8%. List price increases along with strong consumer demand and favorable price elasticities drove balanced growth across segments.
Reported gross margin was 40.6% in the third quarter of 2022, compared to 45.0% in the third quarter of 2021, a decrease of 440 basis points. Adjusted gross margin was 42.5% in the third quarter of 2022, a decrease of 180 basis points compared to the third quarter of 2021. Raw material, packaging and logistics inflation, labor investments, and higher supply chain costs from sustained consumer demand contributed to these declines, as well as an unfavorable mix from recent acquisitions. These headwinds were partially offset by net price realization and volume gains. Derivative mark-to-market losses further contributed to the decline in reported gross margin.
Selling, marketing and administrative expenses increased 13.5% in the third quarter of 2022 versus the third quarter of 2021, primarily driven by higher corporate expenses and acquisition-related costs. Higher corporate expenses were driven by incremental capability and technology investments, higher incentive compensation and broad-based marketplace inflation. Advertising and related consumer marketing expenses increased 5.4% in the third quarter of 2022 versus the same period last year. Higher levels of advertising in response to improved supportability of confectionery brands and increased investment in salty snacks brands were partially offset by cost efficiencies related to new media partners. Selling, marketing and administrative expenses, excluding advertising and related consumer marketing, increased 17.8% versus the third quarter of 2021. This increase was driven by acquisition-related costs, including amortization, integration and operating expenses, as well as people, capability and technology investments.
Third-quarter 2022 reported operating profit was $556.6 million, a decrease of 3.2%, resulting in an operating profit margin of 20.4%, a decrease of 400 basis points. These declines were driven by the previously mentioned gross margin declines, including derivative mark-to-market losses, and higher corporate and operating expenses, including acquisition-related integration costs. Adjusted operating profit of $615.3 million increased 9.3% versus the third quarter of 2021 as pricing, volume and cost leverage more than offset inflation, elevated supply chain costs, acquisition-related costs and brand, capabilities, and people investments. Despite higher adjusted operating profit, adjusted operating profit margin decreased by 130 basis points to 22.6%, as inflation and investment outpaced sales growth.
The reported effective tax rate in the third quarter of 2022 was 15.6%, an increase of 90 basis points versus the third quarter of 2021. The adjusted effective tax rate was 15.9%, an increase of 120 basis points versus the third quarter of 2021. Both the reported and adjusted effective tax rate increase were driven by higher utilization of capital losses in the prior-year period, as well as the timing of renewable energy tax credits.
The company's third-quarter 2022 results, as prepared in accordance with GAAP, included items positively impacting comparability of $58.7 million, or $0.23 per share-diluted. For the third quarter of 2021, items negatively impacting comparability totaled $11.9 million, or $0.04 per share-diluted.
North America confectionery
Hershey's North America Confectionery segment net sales were $2,235.6 million in the third quarter of 2022, an increase of 10.4% versus the same period last year. Organic, constant currency net sales increased 10.7%. Net price realization was driven by mid to high single digit list price increases across the confectionery portfolio. Earlier seasonal shipments versus the prior-year period and continued replenishment of distributor inventory levels offset modest declines in consumer demand to drive volume growth in the third quarter.
Hershey's U.S. candy, mint and gum (CMG) retail takeaway for the 12-week period ended October 2, 2022, in the multi-outlet plus convenience store channels (MULO+C) increased 12.2%, resulting in category market share gain of 23 basis points in the period. Consumer demand for Hershey's products remained strong aided by improved supportability and higher levels of advertising in the 12-week period. Retail sales of Hershey's chocolate products increased 12.6%, driving chocolate share gains of over 100 basis points. This strength was driven by sustained on-the-go and at-home usage occasions, instant consumables' retail sales growth of 11.2% and take-home retail sales growth of 13.6%. Within refreshment, Hershey's gum products increased 14.8%, driven by less mask-wearing, while retail trends for Icebreaker's mints continued to improve from supply chain challenges earlier this year. Hershey's share of CMG remains up 111 basis points versus pre-pandemic levels.
The North America Confectionery segment reported segment income of $706.8 million in the third quarter of 2022, reflecting an increase of 7.8% versus the prior-year period as pricing and volume gains offset inflation, incremental investments in labor and higher brand and capabilities investments, to drive segment income growth in the third quarter. Inflation and investment outpaced sales growth, resulting in segment margin of 31.6% in the third quarter, a decrease of 80 basis points.
North America salty snacks
Hershey's North America Salty Snacks segment net sales were $275.0 million in the third quarter of 2022, an increase of 86.9% versus the same period last year. Sales from the acquisitions of Dot's and Pretzels were a 65.5-point benefit. Organic, constant currency net sales growth was 21.4% driven by volume gains from strong consumer demand and net price realization.
Hershey's U.S. salty snack retail takeaway, including Dot's, in MULO+C increased 22.4% in the 12-week period ended October 2, 2022, driven by robust consumer demand. Hershey's salty snacks growth outpaced the category resulting in 10 basis points of share gain in the 12-week period. SkinnyPop brand retail sales increased 18.0%, resulting in ready-to-eat popcorn share gain of 120 basis points in the 12-week period. Pirate's Booty products also continued to perform well with retail sales growth of 14.4%. Both SkinnyPop and Pirate's Booty brands benefited from a strong back-to-school season with higher promotional activity in the third quarter, with multi-packs retail sales growth of 24.8% versus the prior-year period. Dot's Homestyle Pretzels retail sales grew 34.2%, driven by increased distribution, new buyers and higher frequency among existing households. This growth significantly outpaced category growth, resulting in a 200 basis points share gain of the pretzel category.
North America Salty Snacks segment income increased 50.3% to $44.5 million in the third quarter of 2022, compared to $29.6 million in the third quarter of 2021. Profit increases were driven by volume, price realization and acquisitions, which were partially offset by higher supply chain costs, unfavorable mix, acquisition-related costs and increased advertising spend. The costs and investment outpaced sales growth in the third quarter, resulting in segment margin of 16.2%, a decrease of 390 basis points.
Third-quarter 2022 net sales for Hershey's International segment increased 15.4% versus the same period last year to $217.6 million. Organic, constant currency net sales increased 16.6% driven by higher volumes from strong consumer demand and net price realization.
The International segment reported a $35.4 million profit in the third quarter of 2022, reflecting an increase of $15.8 million versus the prior-year period. Sales volume growth and net price realization more than offset inflation to deliver a segment margin of 16.3%, an increase of 590 basis points versus the prior-year period.