CHICAGO – Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. (WWY), the world's biggest chewing gum maker, on Tuesday said second-quarter profit rose 17 percent, driven by higher global shipments and favorable foreign currency exchange rates. Its shares rose 3 percent.
The maker of Doublemint, Big Red (search) and Juicy Fruit (search) gum reported earnings of $162.4 million, or 72 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30 compared with $139.2 million, or 62 cents per share, in the prior-year period.
Sales rose 9 percent to $1.04 billion from $958 million a year ago, bolstered by stronger foreign currencies relative to the weaker U.S. dollar, which contributed 3 percent to the sales increase.
Wall Street's consensus forecast for the quarter was 68 cents per share, based on a survey of nine analysts by Thomson Financial, on sales of slightly less than $1.07 billion.
Wrigley shares rose $2.11 to $71.49 on the New York Stock Exchange (search), near their 52-week high of $71.50.
Sales in North America grew 4 percent, due primarily to higher shipments including strong performance of the Orbit, Orbit White (search) and Extra brands in the U.S., and Extra and Excel brands in Canada.
The company also said it will launch several new items this summer, and would start integrating the Altoids and Life Savers brands it acquired from Kraft Foods Inc (KFT).
Wrigley Co. also said it expects "somewhat" less than half of an estimated $60 million in restructuring charges would affect earnings in this year's second half.
Both the integration of the former Kraft brands and the restructuring charges will impact earnings in the near term, it said.