Hershey Could Lay Off 15 Percent of Global Work Force

The layoffs would take place mostly outside the United States, the company says.

The Hershey Company, the largest candy manufacturer in North America, says it could lay off up to 15 percent of its global work force. The layoffs of hourly employees would be mostly outside of the United States.

“Hershey has tremendous assets — its iconic brands, remarkable people and a history of executional excellence — that position the company well to deliver top- and bottom-line growth,” Michele Buck, incoming Hershey president and CEO, said in a release. “We’re making progress against the ‘Margin for Growth’ related initiatives that should give us the flexibility to invest in certain parts of our business.”

Hershey says the layoffs will save the company between $150 million to $175 million by the end of 2019. The company expects sales growth of 2 to 4 percent this year, driven primarily by sales in North America.

“Our objective is to ensure that we always have the right level of innovation, marketing plans and consumer and customer expertise to drive net sales growth, especially in our North America confectionery and snacks business,” Buck continued in her statement. “In addition, we’re working to return our international businesses to profitability as soon as possible. Combined, these efforts should enable the company to achieve its adjusted operating profit margin target of about 22 percent to 23 percent by year end 2019.”