The Hershey Company has raised its full-year earnings outlook, on the back of a double-digit increase in sales in the first quarter of its financial year.
The chocolate manufacturer posted a 12.7% increase in consolidated net sales in the quarter, to $2.3 billion.
Hershey reported a net profit of $395.8 million, or $1.90 per share-diluted, an increase of 47.3%.
Commenting on its performance, Michele Buck, The Hershey Company president and CEO, said "We are off to an outstanding start in 2021, with broad-based growth across the portfolio leading to double digit sales and earnings growth in the first quarter and an increased outlook for the full year. "
Hershey is updating its 2021 net sales and earnings per share outlook to reflect the strength of its performance in the first quarter, and its expectations for the remainder of the year.
The primary drivers of the increased outlook are stronger than anticipated consumer mobility and increased distribution and merchandising opportunities in North America confection.
Gains in volume, partially offset by higher input costs and incentive compensation, are expected to result in higher earnings per share growth for 2021.
Buck added, "As COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the globe, consumers are optimistic about the future and looking forward to spending more time with their family, friends and community. As we have seen over our 127- year history, our portfolio of beloved brands plays an important role in these special moments of connection, comfort and happiness.
"We expect continued investments in our brands, capabilities and people along with our agility to respond to and capitalise on marketplace opportunities, to drive sustainable, advantaged performance not only in 2021, but in years to come as well."