April 26, 2017 / 12:02 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 2-Hershey's profit beats on cost-cutting, new launches

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April 26 (Reuters) - Hershey Co, the maker of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, reported its eighth straight quarterly profit beat, helped by cost cutting and demand for its newly launched products.

The company also said on Wednesday it expected full-year adjusted profit to be at the high end of its forecast of $4.72-$4.81 per share.

The company's shares were slightly up in premarket trading.

Hershey's has been introducing new versions of its old favorites such as Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups, while keeping a tight lid on costs.

As part of a cost-cutting plan announced last year, the company decided to shut some plants in North America and China. The company is also reducing its advertising spending.

Hershey's North America sales, which account for about 85 percent of total sales, rose 2.7 percent to $1.68 billion in the first quarter ended April 2.

Net income fell to $125 million, or 58 cents per share, in the quarter, from $229.8 million, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, Hershey earned $1.31 per share, beating the analysts' average estimate of $1.25, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose 2.8 percent to $1.88 billion, but missed estimate of $1.90 billion.

Reporting by Karina Dsouza and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta

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