Hershey to cut global workforce by about 15 percent

FILE PHOTO - A woman shops inside the Hershey Store in New York June 17, 2008. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

(Reuters) - Hershey Co HSY.N, maker of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, said on Tuesday it would cut its global workforce by about 15 percent as part of a restructuring program.

The company said it would book pre-tax charges of $375 million-$425 million related to the plan and expected to save $150 million-$175 million by the end of 2019.

The company also cut its 2017 profit forecast to $3.19-$3.45 per share from $4.54-$4.65 per share estimated earlier.

As of Dec. 31, the company had about 16,300 full-time employees worldwide and employed 1,680 on part-time basis.

Hershey’s new chief executive, Michele Buck, said he would discuss the company’s plans at an investor conference in New York on Wednesday.

The U.S. chocolate maker has been pinning its hopes on Buck, who takes over from John Bilbrey on the same day, to build on a recovery in demand in North America.

The company’s shares were down marginally at $107.95 in extended trading on Tuesday.

Reporting by Vishaka George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Anil D’Silva