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Hershey, Harley-Davidson report strong 2013 earnings

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It was a strong 2013 for Dauphin County candy maker The Hershey Co. and Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc., which has operations in York County.

Both companies reported fourth-quarter and annual earnings today.

Hershey, based in Derry Township, finished 2013 ahead of expectations, said John Bilbrey, company president and CEO.

Net sales increased 11.7 percent in the fourth quarter. That was driven by solid volume growth in North America and in international markets, the company said.

In the U.S., Hershey gained market share in candy, mint and gum for the third straight year. It now holds 31.1 percent of the CMG market.

In China, Hershey eclipsed 10 percent share of the chocolate market. The company also is the market leader for the candy and mint segments in Canada.

Hershey reported net income of $186.1 million, or 82 cents per diluted shared, compared with $149.9 million, or 66 cents per diluted shared, for the fourth quarter of 2012.

For the year, Hershey finished with net income of $820.5 million, or $3.61 per diluted share, compared with $660.9 million, or $2.89 per diluted share, for 2012.

The candy maker is projecting to grow net sales this year by 5 to 7 percent. Hershey is betting on volume growth in its core brands, especially in key international markets.

Last year, Hershey acquired China’s Golden Monkey Food Joint Stock Co. Ltd. as part of its ongoing expansion in Asian markets. Hershey also launched the Lancaster-brand milk-based candy line in China and recently in the U.S.

Its earnings per diluted share goal is in the range of $4.02 to $4.13.

Hershey, which also declared a quarterly dividend of 48.5 cents per share, payable March 14 for shareholders as of Feb. 25, trades its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HSY.

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Harley-Davidson, which has a facility in Springettsbury Township, reported fourth-quarter net income of $75.4 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, compared with $70.6 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago.

For the year, Harley-Davidson reported net income of $734 million, or $3.28 per diluted share, compared with $623.9 million, or $2.72 per diluted share, in 2012.

The motorcycle maker grew worldwide retail sales by 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 4.4 percent for the year.

Keith Wandell, the company’s president and CEO, cited greater production efficiencies and stronger customer outreach, as well as the launch of the Project Rushmore and Street motorcycles.

Dealers worldwide sold 45,875 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the fourth quarter. Nearly 27,400 of those were in the U.S. For the year, the company sold 260,839 motorcycles worldwide.

Shares of Harley-Davidson are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HOG.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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