|In thousands of dollars except per share amounts||1997||1996||Percent Change|
|Income before loss on disposal of businesses||336,251||308,538||+9|
|Income per share:|
Before loss on disposal of businesses
|(a) Net income for 1996 included a loss on the disposal of the corporation's European businesses, Gubor and Sperlari, of
$35.4 million or $.23 per share. No tax benefit was recorded in connection with the loss.|
Hershey Foods Corporation...
is the leading North American manufacturer of quality chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery and chocolate-related grocery products; is the leading North American producer of branded, dry pasta products; and has a variety of international operations.
is to be a focused food company in North America and selected international markets and a leader in every aspect of our business. Our goal is to enhance our number one position in the North American confectionery market, be the leader in U.S. pasta and chocolate-related grocery products, and to build leadership positions in selected international markets.
Hershey Chocolate North America
The division produces and markets many favorite American brands. Principal brands include Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars, Cadbury's Creme Eggs candy, Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme candy bar, Hershey's milk chocolate and milk chocolate with almonds bars, Hershey's Nuggets chocolates, Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's Hugs chocolates, Jolly Rancher candy, Kit Kat wafer bar, Milk Duds candy, PayDay peanut caramel bar, Reese's Crunchy Cookie Cups, Reese's NutRageous candy bar, Reese's peanut butter cups, Sweet Escapes candy bars, TasteTations candy, Twizzlers candy, Whoppers malted milk balls, and York peppermint patties. Additional brands include Good & Plenty candy, Heath toffee bar, Jujyfruits candy, Pot of Gold boxed chocolates, Rain-blo and Super Bubble gums, and Wunderbeans jellybeans. Key Canadian brands include Brown Cow and Strawberry Cow milk modifiers, Chipits chocolate chips, Eat-More candy, Glosette candy, Hershey candy bars, Oh Henry! candy bars, Pot of Gold boxed chocolates, Reese Peanut Butter Cups candy and Twizzlers candy. In Mexico, chocolate products are produced and marketed under the Hershey's brand name. In addition, some of the division's products manufactured in the United States are sold in Mexico.
Hershey Chocolate North America enhanced its leadership position in the North American confectionery market in 1997. The division also continued to hold the leadership position in baking chips and sundae toppings in Canada, and held the number two position in the expanded chocolate bar segment in that country as well as the number two position in the chocolate confectionery and flavored milk drink categories in Mexico.
Factors Affecting Growth
The December 1996 acquisition of Leaf North America carried the division to the North American leadership position in the non-chocolate confectionery category, enhanced its leadership position in the chocolate confectionery category and provided incremental growth in 1997. In addition, successful new product introductions, line extensions of core brands and excellent growth in the division's seasonal packaged candy business
contributed to the strong 1997 growth in the corporation's largest division.
Hershey Pasta and Grocery Group
The division produces a broad array of dry pasta products under eight regional brands: American Beauty, Ideal by San Giorgio, Light 'n Fluffy, P&R, Mrs. Weiss, Ronzoni, San Giorgio and Skinner. Other grocery products include Hershey's baking chocolate, Hershey's chocolate drink, Hershey's chocolate milk mix, Hershey's Chocolate Shoppe ice cream toppings, Hershey's cocoa, Hershey's syrup, Hershey's Hot Cocoa Collection hot cocoa mix, Reese's peanut butter, and Hershey's, Reese's and Heath baking pieces.
The division continued to hold the number one share position in the U.S. branded dry pasta category. Its regional approach to marketing has been instrumental in gaining and maintaining this leadership position. The division also holds the leadership position in the chocolate syrup and unsweetened cocoa categories in the United States.
Factors Affecting Growth
The U.S. retail pasta industry experienced a volume decline in 1997 partly as a result of the apparent trend toward away-from-home eating and contents meal replacements. However, new chocolate-related grocery product introductions, a solid baking season, strong foodservice sales and increases in the syrup/toppings business contributed to the division's strong performance.
The division markets Hershey's branded confectionery and grocery products to over 90 countries worldwide. It sells traditional Hershey's chocolate and grocery products, as well as Hershey's Extra Creamy milk chocolate which is designed specifically to meet the taste preferences of international consumers. Hershey's branded products also are available through licensing agreements with partners in South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan.
In Japan, Hershey's Kisses milk chocolates are the division's major confectionery product. The division continues to have a strong brand franchise in South Korea where it is the recognized leader in chocolate beverages. One of Hershey's strongest markets outside of North America is the Philippines where the division competes successfully in the domestic retail market and duty-free business. Hershey's chocolate products have been introduced in Russia and China.
Factors Affecting Growth
The division continues to focus its efforts on achieving profitable growth and a reasonable return on investments. Latin America, the Far East, Russia and China, as well as licensing and export programs worldwide, provide growth opportunities for the division.
Hershey Foods Corporation made excellent progress toward achieving its goals during 1997 as a result of a concentrated focus on what it does best:
- producing and marketing
- providing first-class service
to customers; and,
- managing low-cost, effective operations.