Hershey third-quarter profit rises

CHICAGO Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:12am EDT

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chocolate bar maker Hershey Co (HSY.N) posted higher quarterly profit as price increases helped offset rising cocoa costs.

The maker of Reese's peanut butter cups and Hershey's Kisses said third-quarter profit rose to $162.0 million, or 71 cents a share, from $124.5 million, or 54 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges from an overhaul of the company's supply chain, earnings were 73 cents a share. analysts on average forecast 67 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Like many food companies, Hershey raised prices to offset rising costs. The company increased prices 10 percent in August 2008, although some of the benefit from the move was delayed as it had to honor previous price agreements with retailers for holidays like Halloween in 2008 and Valentine's Day and Easter this year.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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