Hershey Foods Corp. warned its earnings may fall below expectations for the second quarter, blaming both softness in Russia and Asia and lower-than-expected results for its "Godzilla" promotion. Hershey said that for the second quarter ended July 5, earnings will end up below expectations by between 5 cents and 7 cents per share. "While we are a bit disappointed with the development of our second-quarter business, we need to remember that it is our smallest quarter of the year and we are going against a very strong comparison, up 27% for 1997 vs. 1996," said Kenneth Wolfe, chairman-CEO, adding, "Although the effects of `Godzilla' and the international realignment are behind us, it is difficult to predict the rate of recovery in the Asian market."
Hershey said results for the "Godzilla" effort, which involved a full line of movie-theme candy products and advertising, weren't as strong as its prior year's promotion with "The Lost World." Despite a huge ad campaign and major tie-ins, Sony Pictures' "Godzilla" hasn't been the blockbuster summer hit it was expected to be.
Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.