HARRISBURG—Hershey, the nation's second-largest candymaker, said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose 30 percent, helped by price increases and lower restructuring costs.
The results beat Wall Street expectations, although The Hershey Co. said third-quarter revenue dipped slightly after retailers stocked up in last year's third quarter ahead of a price increase.
Halloween and Christmas - usually a brisk sales period for the maker of Hershey's chocolate bars, bite-sized Kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups - but consumers will be paying higher prices for Hershey's candies than last year.
That means some candy could be left on store shelves as shoppers look for cheaper prices.
In a statement, Hershey's president and CEO, David J. West, promised a heavier marketing presence to help persuade dollar-conscious buyers.
"We'll make the necessary consumer investments in the coming weeks and months to ensure a healthy category and Halloween and holiday sell through at the retail level," West said.
Halloween-specific promotions, merchandising and advertising are currently under way, and Hershey is planning a bigger advertising effort in the next three months, West said.
All told, that should boost Hershey's full-year, 2009 advertising expense by 50 percent above last year's, he said.
Consumers can expect to see some of that advertising effort centered around the December launches of Hershey's Bliss white chocolate and Hershey's Special Dark, Almond Joy and York Pieces, an expansion of the Reese's Pieces format.
The Hershey, Pa.-based candymaker said it earned $162 million, or 71 cents a share, in the three months ended Oct. 3, up from $124.5 million in last year's quarter.
Excluding one-time expenses, such as costs connected to a three-year effort to consolidate its supply chain, Hershey said it would have earned $168.5 million, or 73 cents a share.
Analysts expected 67 cents per share on revenue of $1.54 billion.
Revenue slid less than 1 percent to $1.48 billion, as the company cited artificially inflated sales in last year's third quarter because of heavy purchasing by retailers to beat an average 11 percent wholesale price increase on Hershey's candy. That price increase took effect Jan. 1 at the retail level.