Hershey, PA — Closing 2013 with 7.6 percent net sales growth and a 4Q net sales gain of 11.7 percent, The Hershey Co. is projecting 2014 net sales to increase five to seven percent, driven by volume, the company reports.
In addition, President and CEO John P. Bilbrey also reports gains in market share for the candy, mint and gum category in every measured channel in the U.S. for three consecutive years, amassing a 31.1 percent share of market by year’s end.
Hershey’s attributes its 4Q performance to volume gains in core brands and new products, strong holiday season sales in the U.S. and Canada and sustained sales in international markets. Consolidated net sales for the quarter were $1.96 billion, up $210 million from the previous year.
Consolidated net sales for all of 2013 were $7 trillion, an increase of 7.6 percent over full-year 2012’s $6.6 trillion.
With regard to 2014, Bilbrey says: “Our plans are focused on targeted growth initiatives in key global markets, new product launches in both the U.S. and international geographies and continued support of our core brands.” Among the company’s plans is completing the purchase of Chinese candymaker Shanghai Golden Monkey in the second quarter, widening Hershey’s presence in China.
The company also anticipates continued strong showing by its Brookside brand, which had net sales estimated at $200 million in 2013, and its Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s Kisses.