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Press release from Business Wire

Hershey Reaffirms Financial Goals and Provides Update on Progress Against Growth Initiatives

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hershey Reaffirms Financial Goals and Provides Update on Progress Against Growth Initiatives16:15 EST Wednesday, February 20, 2013 HERSHEY, Pa. (Business Wire) -- In a presentation today at the 2013 Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference, John P. Bilbrey, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY); Humberto P. Alfonso, Executive Vice President, CFO and Chief Administrative Officer; and Michele G. Buck, Senior Vice President and Chief Growth Officer; reviewed the progress the company has achieved in its consumer-driven global approach to core brand investment in both the U.S. and key international markets. The company outlined initiatives underway in its focused international markets where it is making solid progress on expanding its five core global brands – Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. “We continue to build and execute our consumer-centric business model and are creating a virtuous cycle that is delivering predictable, profitable and sustainable results,” said Bilbrey. “We believe the strategies in place support our long-term targets of organic net sales growth of 5 to 7 percent and adjusted earnings per share-diluted growth of 8 to 10 percent,” Bilbrey concluded. During the presentation Bilbrey reaffirmed the company's full-year 2013 financial expectations for net sales, gross margin and earnings per share-diluted growth provided in its January 31, 2013, earnings release. The Hershey Company CAGNY presentation was accompanied by slides that can be accessed at the corporate website (http://www.thehersheycompany.com). Please go to the Investor Relations section of the website for further information. Note: In 2013, the company expects to record total GAAP charges of about $10 million to $15 million, or $0.03 to $0.05 per share-diluted, attributable to Project Next Century and $13.2 million, or $0.04 per share-diluted, of non-service related pension expenses (NSRPE). Below is a reconciliation of earnings per share-diluted in accordance with GAAP to non-GAAP adjusted earnings per share-diluted:           2013(Projected) Reported EPS-Diluted $ 3.47 - $3.56 Total Business Realignment and Impairment Charges 0.03 – 0.05 Non-Service Related Pension Expense 0.04 Adjusted EPS-Diluted $ 3.56 - $3.63 Possible adjustments to exclude business realignment and impairment charges over the long term are not known at this time; therefore, the company is unable to provide a reconciliation of earnings per share-diluted in accordance with GAAP to adjusted earnings per share-diluted. Safe Harbor Statement This release contains statements that are forward-looking. These statements are made based upon current expectations that are subject to risk and uncertainty. Because actual results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, you should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements when deciding whether to buy, sell or hold the company's securities. Factors that could cause results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: issues or concerns related to the quality and safety of our products, ingredients or packaging; changes in raw material and other costs; selling price increases, including volume declines associated with pricing elasticity; market demand for our new and existing products; increased marketplace competition; disruption to our supply chain; failure to successfully identify, execute and integrate acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures; changes in governmental laws and regulations, including taxes; political, economic, and/or financial market conditions; risks and uncertainties related to our international operations and related growth targets; disruptions, failures or security breaches of our information technology infrastructure; the impact of future developments related to the investigation by government regulators of alleged pricing practices by members of the confectionery industry, including risks from current or subsequent litigation or further government action; pension cost factors, such as actuarial assumptions, market performance and employee retirement decisions and funding requirements; our ability to achieve ongoing annual savings from supply chain realignment initiatives; and such other matters as discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2011. All information in this press release is as of February 20, 2013. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company's expectations. The Hershey CompanyFINANCIAL CONTACT:Mark Pogharian, 717-534-7556orMEDIA CONTACT:Jeff Beckman, 717-534-8090jbeckman@hersheys.com