May 16, 1:04 AM EDT Newsletter Signup BusinessTechnologyWorldNationalMedia & CultureOpinionSportsLuxury By IBT Staff Reporter 04/23/09 AT 11:16 AM Hershey Co posted a higher-than-expected rise in quarterly profit on Thursday as the chocolate maker increased its market share despite raising prices.The maker of Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups also stood by its forecast calling for earnings per share to increase this year, but for the gain to be less than the company’s long-term goal of 6 percent to 8 percent.Hershey took a 10 percent price increase in August to help offset rising costs for commodities such as cocoa.While the price increase helped lift profit in the quarter, the company expects to see a greater impact later this year, since it had to honor earlier pricing agreements with retailers on candy for the Valentine’s Day and Easter seasons.Hershey said the price increase did not hurt volume as much as expected in the first quarter. It is also spending more to support its brands as prices go up, with advertising costs expected to rise 20 percent to 25 percent this year.The company has also been trying to gain market share against rivals like Mars Inc, which bought Wm Wrigley Jr Co… Read full this story
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