COVID-19 Crisis Leads Hershey to Withdraw 2020 Outlook

April 23, 2020

4 Min Read
COVID-19 Crisis Leads Hershey to Withdraw 2020 Outlook
Hershey Company has withdrawn its financial outlook for FY2020 due to uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic. Image courtesy of Pixabay

American chocolate manufacturer The Hershey Company withdrew its full year financial outlook for fiscal year 2020 this week as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic creates instability in the global food and beverage market.

 “The length and severity of the pandemic and associated changes in consumer behaviors remain uncertain,” the company said Thursday in a release of its first quarter 2020 financial results. “Due to the rapidly evolving situation and the high degree of uncertainty, the company does not believe that it can estimate the full financial impacts with reasonable accuracy, and therefore believes it is prudent to withdraw fiscal 2020 full-year guidance at this time.”

Despite the pressures, Hershey reaffirmed its long-term financial net sales growth objective of 2% to 4%, noting that it has “sufficient liquidity” and the ability to tap lines of credit and a revolving credit facility. 

“The situation continues to evolve rapidly, and it is difficult to predict the future wit much certainty. But we have more than 125 years of experience managing through challenging, fast-moving and unprecedented moments in time,” CEO Michelle Buck said in a statement. “We continue to focus on making the best long-term decisions for all our key stakeholders and believe this resilience will make us stronger in the days and years ahead.”

During the first quarter of this year, Hershey brought in net sales of $2.037 billion, representing a 1% increase compared to the first quarter of 2019. Sales in North America grew by 2.1% from the same period last year to $1.8 billion. The company’s sales declined by 8.1% abroad. 

“We had a solid start to the year with our business performing as expected prior to the impact of COVID-19,” Buck said. 

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