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HERSHEY FOODS ANNOUNCES RECORD FIRST QUARTER REGULAR QUARTERLY DIVIDEND DECLARED

 HERSHEY FOODS ANNOUNCES RECORD FIRST QUARTER
 REGULAR QUARTERLY DIVIDEND DECLARED
 HERSHEY, Pa., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Hershey Foods Corporation (NYSE: HSY) today announced record consolidated net sales and earnings for the first quarter ended March 29, 1992.
 Net sales were $800,967,000 compared with $684,565,000 for the first quarter of 1991. Net income was $58,924,000, or $.65 per share, compared with $48,636,000, or $.54 per share, for the same quarter last year. Weighted average shares outstanding were 90,186,336 for both periods.
 "We are very pleased by our strong sales growth in the quarter which was driven largely by volume increases at Hershey Chocolate U.S.A. and the consolidation of Nacional de Dulces and Gubor Schokoladen which were acquired in 1991," said Richard A. Zimmerman, chairman and chief executive officer. "Hershey Chocolate U.S.A. was the principal contributor to higher earnings as a result of the significant sales volume growth and the price increase on the standard candy bar line which became effective in February 1991.
 "We've had an excellent beginning to 1992, but as stated on previous occasions, we plan to defend and enhance our market share position in the U.S. confectionery market. Recent announcements regarding marketing programs underscore the intensity of this competitive battle and uphold our previously stated position that our 1992 earnings may increase at a rate below historical trend.
 Nonetheless, we do plan on improving earnings relative to 1991," Zimmerman concluded.
 ------
 The board of directors of Hershey Foods Corporation today declared regular quarterly dividends of $.245 on the common stock and $.2225 on the Class B common stock. Both dividends are payable June 15, 1992, to stockholders of record May 22. It is the 250th consecutive regular dividend on the corporation's common stock and the 31st consecutive regular dividend on the Class B common stock.
 HERSHEY FOODS CORPORATION
 Summary of Consolidated Statements of Income
 (in thousands, except per share amounts)
 First quarter ended March 29, 1992 March 31, 1991
 Net Sales $800,967 $684,565
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of sales 463,438 411,832
 Selling, marketing &
 administrative 233,276 188,638
 Total costs and expenses 696,714 600,470
 Income before
 Interest and Income Taxes 104,253 84,095
 Interest Expense, net 5,221 5,140
 Income before Income Taxes 99,032 78,955
 Provision for Income Taxes 40,108 30,319
 Net Income $58,924 $48,636
 Net Income per Share $.65 $.54
 Note: Net Income per Share has been computed based on the weighted average number of shares of Common Stock and Class B Common Stock outstanding during the period. Average shares outstanding were 90,186,336 for both periods.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/27/92
 /CONTACT: James A. Edris of Hershey Foods, 717-534-7552/
 (HSY) CO: Hershey Foods Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: FOD SU: ERN DIV


JS -- PH025 -- 3129 04/27/92 12:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 27, 1992
Words:482
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