10-K 1 a2017_formx10-kq4.htm THE HERSHEY COMPANY FORM 10-K FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017 Document



UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

x    Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
OR
¨    Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission File Number 1-183

THE HERSHEY COMPANY
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
    
Delaware
23-0691590
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
 
100 Crystal A Drive, Hershey, PA
17033
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)
 
 
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (717) 534-4200
 
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, one dollar par value
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Title of class
Class B Common Stock, one dollar par value
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   
Yes  x   No  ¨

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  ¨    No  x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer
x
 
Accelerated filer
¨
 
Smaller reporting company
¨
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Non-accelerated filer
¨
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 
Emerging growth company
¨
 
    
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes  ¨    No  x

As of June 30, 2017 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter), the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates was $14,885,931,198. Class B Common Stock is not listed for public trading on any exchange or market system. However, Class B shares are convertible into shares of Common Stock at any time on a share-for-share basis. Determination of aggregate market value assumes all outstanding shares of Class B Common Stock were converted to Common Stock as of June 30, 2017. The market value indicated is calculated based on the closing price of the Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2017 ($107.37 per share).

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common stock as of the latest practicable date.
Common Stock, one dollar par value—149,863,997 shares, as of February 16, 2018.
Class B Common Stock, one dollar par value—60,619,777 shares, as of February 16, 2018.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Proxy Statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.




THE HERSHEY COMPANY
Annual Report on Form 10-K
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART III
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART IV
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





PART I
Item 1.
BUSINESS
The Hershey Company was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware on October 24, 1927 as a successor to a business founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey. In this report, the terms “Hershey,” “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” mean The Hershey Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries and entities in which it has a controlling financial interest, unless the context indicates otherwise.
Hershey is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through chocolate, sweets, mints and other great tasting snacks. We are the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America, a leading snack maker in the United States and a global leader in chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery. We market, sell and distribute our products under more than 80 brand names in approximately 80 countries worldwide.
Reportable Segments
Our organizational structure is designed to ensure continued focus on North America, coupled with an emphasis on profitable growth in our focus international markets. Our business is organized around geographic regions, which enables us to build processes for repeatable success in our global markets. As a result, we have defined our operating segments on a geographic basis, as this aligns with how our Chief Operating Decision Maker (“CODM”) manages our business, including resource allocation and performance assessment. Our North America business, which generates approximately 88% of our consolidated revenue, is our only reportable segment. None of our other operating segments meet the quantitative thresholds to qualify as reportable segments; therefore, these operating segments are combined and disclosed below as International and Other.
North America - This segment is responsible for our traditional chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery market position, as well as our grocery and growing snacks market positions, in the United States and Canada. This includes developing and growing our business in chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery, pantry, food service and other snacking product lines.
International and Other - International and Other is a combination of all other operating segments that are not individually material, including those geographic regions where we operate outside of North America. We currently have operations and manufacture product in China, Mexico, Brazil, India and Malaysia, primarily for consumers in these regions, and also distribute and sell confectionery products in export markets of Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Europe, Africa and other regions. This segment also includes our global retail operations, including Hershey's Chocolate World stores in Hershey, Pennsylvania, New York City, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls (Ontario), Dubai, and Singapore, as well as operations associated with licensing the use of certain of the Company's trademarks and products to third parties around the world.
Financial and other information regarding our reportable segments is provided in our Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Business Acquisitions
In January 2018, we completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Amplify Snack Brands, Inc. ("Amplify"), a publicly traded company based in Austin, Texas that owns several popular better-for-you snack brands such as SkinnyPop, OatmegaPaqui and Tyrrells. The acquisition enables us to capture more consumer snacking occasions by creating a broader portfolio of brands.
In April 2016, we completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Ripple Brand Collective, LLC, a privately held company based in Congers, New York that owns the barkTHINS mass premium chocolate snacking brand. The acquisition was undertaken in order to broaden our product offerings in the premium and portable snacking categories.
In March 2015, we completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of KRAVE Pure Foods, Inc. (“Krave”), the Sonoma, California based manufacturer of Krave, a leading all-natural brand of premium meat snack products. The transaction was undertaken to enable us to tap into the rapidly growing meat snacks category and further expand into the broader snacks space.

1



Products and Brands
Our principal product offerings include chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings and beverages; and snack items such as spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites and mixes, popcorn and protein bars and cookies.
Within our North America markets, our product portfolio includes a wide variety of chocolate offerings marketed and sold under the renowned brands of Hershey’s, Reese’s and Kisses, along with other popular chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery brands such as Jolly Rancher, Almond Joy, Brookside, barkTHINS, Cadbury, Good & Plenty, Heath, Kit Kat®, Lancaster, Payday, Rolo®, Twizzlers, Whoppers and York. We also offer premium chocolate products, primarily in the United States, through the Scharffen Berger and Dagoba brands. Our gum and mint products include Ice Breakers mints and chewing gum, Breathsavers mints and Bubble Yum bubble gum. Our pantry and snack items that are principally sold in North America include baking products, toppings and sundae syrups sold under the Hershey’s, Reese’s and Heath brands, as well as Hershey’s and Reese’s chocolate spreads, snack bites and mixes, Krave meat snack products, Popwell half-popped corn snacks, ready-to-eat SkinnyPop popcorn and other better-for-you snack brands such as OatmegaPaqui and Tyrrells.
Within our International and Other markets, we manufacture, market and sell many of these same brands, as well as other brands that are marketed regionally, such as Golden Monkey confectionery and Munching Monkey snack products in China, Pelon Pelo Rico confectionery products in Mexico, IO-IO snack products in Brazil, and Nutrine and Maha Lacto confectionery products and Jumpin and Sofit beverage products in India.
Principal Customers and Marketing Strategy
Our customers are mainly wholesale distributors, chain grocery stores, mass merchandisers, chain drug stores, vending companies, wholesale clubs, convenience stores, dollar stores, concessionaires and department stores. The majority of our customers, with the exception of wholesale distributors, resell our products to end-consumers in retail outlets in North America and other locations worldwide.
In 2017, approximately 29% of our consolidated net sales were made to McLane Company, Inc., one of the largest wholesale distributors in the United States to convenience stores, drug stores, wholesale clubs and mass merchandisers and the primary distributor of our products to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
The foundation of our marketing strategy is our strong brand equities, product innovation and the consistently superior quality of our products. We devote considerable resources to the identification, development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of new products. We utilize a variety of promotional programs directed towards our customers, as well as advertising and promotional programs for consumers of our products, to stimulate sales of certain products at various times throughout the year.
In conjunction with our sales and marketing efforts, our efficient product distribution network helps us maintain sales growth and provide superior customer service by facilitating the shipment of our products from our manufacturing plants to strategically located distribution centers. We primarily use common carriers to deliver our products from these distribution points to our customers.
Raw Materials and Pricing
Cocoa products, including cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and cocoa powder processed from cocoa beans, are the most significant raw materials we use to produce our chocolate products. These cocoa products are purchased directly from third-party suppliers, who source cocoa beans that are grown principally in Far Eastern, West African, Central and South American regions. West Africa accounts for approximately 70% of the world’s supply of cocoa beans.
Adverse weather, crop disease, political unrest and other problems in cocoa-producing countries have caused price fluctuations in the past, but have never resulted in the total loss of a particular producing country’s cocoa crop and/or exports. In the event that a significant disruption occurs in any given country, we believe cocoa from other producing countries and from current physical cocoa stocks in consuming countries would provide a significant supply buffer.

2



In 2016, we established a trading company in Switzerland that performs all aspects of cocoa procurement, including price risk management, physical supply procurement and sustainable sourcing oversight. The trading company was implemented to optimize the supply chain for our cocoa requirements, with a strategic focus on gaining real time access to cocoa market intelligence. It also provides us with the ability to recruit and retain world class commodities traders and procurement professionals and enables enhanced collaboration with commodities trade groups, the global cocoa community and sustainable sourcing resources.
We also use substantial quantities of sugar, Class II and IV dairy products, peanuts, almonds and energy in our production process. Most of these inputs for our domestic and Canadian operations are purchased from suppliers in the United States. For our international operations, inputs not locally available may be imported from other countries.
We change prices and weights of our products when necessary to accommodate changes in input costs, the competitive environment and profit objectives, while at the same time maintaining consumer value. Price increases and weight changes help to offset increases in our input costs, including raw and packaging materials, fuel, utilities, transportation costs and employee benefits. When we implement price increases, there is usually a time lag between the effective date of the list price increases and the impact of the price increases on net sales, in part because we typically honor previous commitments to planned consumer and customer promotions and merchandising events subsequent to the effective date of the price increases. In addition, promotional allowances may be increased subsequent to the effective date, delaying or partially offsetting the impact of price increases on net sales. 
Competition
Many of our confectionery brands enjoy wide consumer acceptance and are among the leading brands sold in the marketplace in North America and certain markets in Latin America. We sell our brands in highly competitive markets with many other global multinational, national, regional and local firms. Some of our competitors are large companies with significant resources and substantial international operations. Competition in our product categories is based on product innovation, product quality, price, brand recognition and loyalty, effectiveness of marketing and promotional activity, the ability to identify and satisfy consumer preferences, as well as convenience and service. In recent years, we have also experienced increased competition from other snack items, which has pressured confectionery category growth. 
Working Capital, Seasonality and Backlog
Our sales are typically higher during the third and fourth quarters of the year, representing seasonal and holiday-related sales patterns. We manufacture primarily for stock and typically fill customer orders within a few days of receipt. Therefore, the backlog of any unfilled orders is not material to our total annual sales. Additional information relating to our cash flows from operations and working capital practices is provided in our Management’s Discussion and Analysis.
Trademarks, Service Marks and License Agreements
We own various registered and unregistered trademarks and service marks. The trademarks covering our key product brands are of material importance to our business. We follow a practice of seeking trademark protection in the United States and other key international markets where our products are sold. We also grant trademark licenses to third parties to produce and sell pantry items, flavored milks and various other products primarily under the Hershey’s and Reese’s brand names.

3



Furthermore, we have rights under license agreements with several companies to manufacture and/or sell and distribute certain products. Our rights under these agreements are extendible on a long-term basis at our option. Our most significant licensing agreements are as follows:
Company
 
Brand
 
Location
 
Requirements
 
 
 
 
 
Kraft Foods Ireland Intellectual Property Limited
 
York
Peter Paul Almond Joy
Peter Paul Mounds
 
Worldwide
 
None
Cadbury UK Limited
 
Cadbury
Caramello
 
United States
 
Minimum sales requirement exceeded in 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Société des Produits Nestlé SA
 
Kit Kat®
Rolo®
 
United States
 
Minimum unit volume sales exceeded in 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Huhtamäki Oy affiliate
 
Good & Plenty
Heath
Jolly Rancher
Milk Duds
Payday
Whoppers
 
Worldwide
 
None
Research and Development
We engage in a variety of research and development activities in a number of countries, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, India and China. We develop new products, improve the quality of existing products, improve and modernize production processes, and develop and implement new technologies to enhance the quality and value of both current and proposed product lines. Information concerning our research and development expense is contained in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Food Quality and Safety Regulation
The manufacture and sale of consumer food products is highly regulated. In the United States, our activities are subject to regulation by various government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as various state and local agencies. Similar agencies also regulate our businesses outside of the United States.
We believe our Product Excellence Program provides us with an effective product quality and safety program. This program is integral to our global supply chain platform and is intended to ensure that all products we purchase, manufacture and distribute are safe, are of high quality and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Through our Product Excellence Program, we evaluate our supply chain including ingredients, packaging, processes, products, distribution and the environment to determine where product quality and safety controls are necessary. We identify risks and establish controls intended to ensure product quality and safety. Various government agencies and third-party firms as well as our quality assurance staff conduct audits of all facilities that manufacture our products to assure effectiveness and compliance with our program and applicable laws and regulations.
Environmental Considerations
We make routine operating and capital expenditures to comply with environmental laws and regulations. These annual expenditures are not material with respect to our results of operations, capital expenditures or competitive position.

4



Employees
As of December 31, 2017, we employed approximately 15,360 full-time and 1,550 part-time employees worldwide. Collective bargaining agreements covered approximately 5,450 employees. During 2018, agreements will be negotiated for certain employees at four facilities outside of the United States, comprising approximately 72% of total employees under collective bargaining agreements. We believe that our employee relations are generally good.
Financial Information by Geographic Area
Our principal operations and markets are located in the United States. The percentage of total consolidated net sales for our businesses outside of the United States was 16.7% for 2017, 16.7% for 2016 and 17.2% for 2015. The percentage of total long-lived assets outside of the United States was 25.2% as of December 31, 2017 and 29.8% as of December 31, 2016.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Our founder, Milton S. Hershey, established an enduring model of responsible citizenship while creating a successful business.  Driving sustainable business practices, making a difference in our communities and operating with the highest integrity are vital parts of our heritage.  We continue this legacy today by providing high quality products while conducting our business in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner. Each year we publish a full corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) report which provides an update on the progress we have made in advancing our CSR priorities such as food safety, responsible sourcing of ingredients, corporate transparency, our focus on improving basic nutrition to help children learn and grow and our continued investment in the communities where we live and work. To learn more about our goals, progress and initiatives, you can access our full CSR report at www.thehersheycompany.com/en_us/responsibility.html.
Available Information
The Company's website address is www.thehersheycompany.com. We file or furnish annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). You may obtain a copy of any of these reports, free of charge, from the Investors section of our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet site that also contains these reports at: www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of the Company's annual report will be made available, free of charge, on written request to the Company.
We have a Code of Conduct that applies to our Board of Directors (“Board”) and all Company officers and employees, including, without limitation, our Chief Executive Officer and “senior financial officers” (including the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and persons performing similar functions). You can obtain a copy of our Code of Conduct, as well as our Corporate Governance Guidelines and charters for each of the Board’s standing committees, from the Investors section of our website. If we change or waive any portion of the Code of Conduct that applies to any of our directors, executive officers or senior financial officers, we will post that information on our website.




5



Item 1A.
RISK FACTORS
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the exhibits hereto and the information incorporated by reference herein, contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. Other than statements of historical fact, information regarding activities, events and developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future, including, but not limited to, information relating to our future growth and profitability targets and strategies designed to increase total shareholder value, are forward-looking statements based on management’s estimates, assumptions and projections. Forward-looking statements also include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our future economic and financial condition and results of operations, the plans and objectives of management and our assumptions regarding our performance and such plans and objectives. Many of the forward-looking statements contained in this document may be identified by the use of words such as “intend,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “planned,” “projected,” “estimated” and “potential,” among others. Forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are predictions only and actual results could differ materially from management’s expectations due to a variety of factors, including those described below. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons working on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by such risk factors. The forward-looking statements that we make in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are based on management’s current views and assumptions regarding future events and speak only as of their dates. We assume no obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements that we make, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments, except as required by the federal securities laws.
Issues or concerns related to the quality and safety of our products, ingredients or packaging could cause a product recall and/or result in harm to the Company’s reputation, negatively impacting our operating results.
In order to sell our iconic, branded products, we need to maintain a good reputation with our customers and consumers. Issues related to the quality and safety of our products, ingredients or packaging could jeopardize our Company’s image and reputation. Negative publicity related to these types of concerns, or related to product contamination or product tampering, whether valid or not, could decrease demand for our products or cause production and delivery disruptions. We may need to recall products if any of our products become unfit for consumption. In addition, we could potentially be subject to litigation or government actions, which could result in payments of fines or damages. Costs associated with these potential actions could negatively affect our operating results.
Increases in raw material and energy costs along with the availability of adequate supplies of raw materials could affect future financial results.
We use many different commodities for our business, including cocoa products, sugar, dairy products, peanuts, almonds, corn sweeteners, natural gas and fuel oil.
Commodities are subject to price volatility and changes in supply caused by numerous factors, including:
Ÿ
Commodity market fluctuations;
Ÿ
Currency exchange rates;
Ÿ
Imbalances between supply and demand;
Ÿ
The effect of weather on crop yield;
Ÿ
Speculative influences;
Ÿ
Trade agreements among producing and consuming nations;
Ÿ
Supplier compliance with commitments;
Ÿ
Political unrest in producing countries; and
Ÿ
Changes in governmental agricultural programs and energy policies.

6



Although we use forward contracts and commodity futures and options contracts where possible to hedge commodity prices, commodity price increases ultimately result in corresponding increases in our raw material and energy costs. If we are unable to offset cost increases for major raw materials and energy, there could be a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
Price increases may not be sufficient to offset cost increases and maintain profitability or may result in sales volume declines associated with pricing elasticity.
We may be able to pass some or all raw material, energy and other input cost increases to customers by increasing the selling prices of our products or decreasing the size of our products; however, higher product prices or decreased product sizes may also result in a reduction in sales volume and/or consumption. If we are not able to increase our selling prices or reduce product sizes sufficiently, or in a timely manner, to offset increased raw material, energy or other input costs, including packaging, freight, direct labor, overhead and employee benefits, or if our sales volume decreases significantly, there could be a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
Market demand for new and existing products could decline.
We operate in highly competitive markets and rely on continued demand for our products. To generate revenues and profits, we must sell products that appeal to our customers and to consumers. Our continued success is impacted by many factors, including the following:
Ÿ
Effective retail execution;
Ÿ
Appropriate advertising campaigns and marketing programs;
Ÿ
Our ability to secure adequate shelf space at retail locations;
Ÿ
Our ability to drive sustainable innovation and maintain a strong pipeline of new products in the confectionery and broader snacking categories;
Ÿ
Changes in product category consumption;
Ÿ
Our response to consumer demographics and trends, including but not limited to, trends relating to store trips and the impact of the growing e-commerce channel; and
Ÿ
Consumer health concerns, including obesity and the consumption of certain ingredients.
There continues to be competitive product and pricing pressures in the markets where we operate, as well as challenges in maintaining profit margins. We must maintain mutually beneficial relationships with our key customers, including retailers and distributors, to compete effectively. Our largest customer, McLane Company, Inc., accounted for approximately 29% of our total net sales in 2017. McLane Company, Inc. is one of the largest wholesale distributors in the United States to convenience stores, drug stores, wholesale clubs and mass merchandisers, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Increased marketplace competition could hurt our business.
The global confectionery packaged goods industry is intensely competitive and consolidation in this industry continues. Some of our competitors are large companies that have significant resources and substantial international operations. We continue to experience increased levels of in-store activity for other snack items, which has pressured confectionery category growth. In order to protect our existing market share or capture increased market share in this highly competitive retail environment, we may be required to increase expenditures for promotions and advertising, and must continue to introduce and establish new products. Due to inherent risks in the marketplace associated with advertising and new product introductions, including uncertainties about trade and consumer acceptance, increased expenditures may not prove successful in maintaining or enhancing our market share and could result in lower sales and profits. In addition, we may incur increased credit and other business risks because we operate in a highly competitive retail environment.

7



Disruption to our manufacturing operations or supply chain could impair our ability to produce or deliver finished products, resulting in a negative impact on our operating results.
Approximately 70% of our manufacturing capacity is located in the United States. Disruption to our global manufacturing operations or our supply chain could result from, among other factors, the following:
Ÿ
Natural disaster;
Ÿ
Pandemic outbreak of disease;
Ÿ
Weather;
Ÿ
Fire or explosion;
Ÿ
Terrorism or other acts of violence;
Ÿ
Labor strikes or other labor activities;
Ÿ
Unavailability of raw or packaging materials;
Ÿ
Operational and/or financial instability of key suppliers, and other vendors or service providers; and
Ÿ
Suboptimal production planning which could impact our ability to cost-effectively meet product demand.

We believe that we take adequate precautions to mitigate the impact of possible disruptions. We have strategies and plans in place to manage disruptive events if they were to occur, including our global supply chain strategies and our principle-based global labor relations strategy. If we are unable, or find that it is not financially feasible, to effectively plan for or mitigate the potential impacts of such disruptive events on our manufacturing operations or supply chain, our financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted if such events were to occur.
Our financial results may be adversely impacted by the failure to successfully execute or integrate acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures.
From time to time, we may evaluate potential acquisitions, divestitures or joint ventures that align with our strategic objectives. The success of such activity depends, in part, upon our ability to identify suitable buyers, sellers or business partners; perform effective assessments prior to contract execution; negotiate contract terms; and, if applicable, obtain government approval. These activities may present certain financial, managerial, staffing and talent, and operational risks, including diversion of management’s attention from existing core businesses; difficulties integrating or separating businesses from existing operations; and challenges presented by acquisitions or joint ventures which may not achieve sales levels and profitability that justify the investments made. If the acquisitions, divestitures or joint ventures are not successfully implemented or completed, there could be a negative impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In January 2018, we completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Amplify Snack Brands, Inc. While we believe significant operating synergies can be obtained in connection with this acquisition, achievement of these synergies will be driven by our ability to successfully leverage Hershey's resources, expertise and capability-building. In addition, the acquisition of Amplify is an important step in our journey to expand our breadth in snacking, as it should enable us to bring scale and category management capabilities to a key sub-segment of the warehouse snack aisle. If we are unable to successfully couple Hershey’s scale and expertise in brand building with Amplify’s existing operations, it may impact our ability to expand our snacking footprint at our desired pace.
Changes in governmental laws and regulations could increase our costs and liabilities or impact demand for our products.
Changes in laws and regulations and the manner in which they are interpreted or applied may alter our business environment. These negative impacts could result from changes in food and drug laws, laws related to advertising and marketing practices, accounting standards, taxation requirements, competition laws, employment laws and environmental laws, among others. It is possible that we could become subject to additional liabilities in the future resulting from changes in laws and regulations that could result in an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

8



Political, economic and/or financial market conditions could negatively impact our financial results.
Our operations are impacted by consumer spending levels and impulse purchases which are affected by general macroeconomic conditions, consumer confidence, employment levels, the availability of consumer credit and interest rates on that credit, consumer debt levels, energy costs and other factors. Volatility in food and energy costs, sustained global recessions, rising unemployment and declines in personal spending could adversely impact our revenues, profitability and financial condition.
Changes in financial market conditions may make it difficult to access credit markets on commercially acceptable terms, which may reduce liquidity or increase borrowing costs for our Company, our customers and our suppliers. A significant reduction in liquidity could increase counterparty risk associated with certain suppliers and service providers, resulting in disruption to our supply chain and/or higher costs, and could impact our customers, resulting in a reduction in our revenue, or a possible increase in bad debt expense.
Our international operations may not achieve projected growth objectives, which could adversely impact our overall business and results of operations.
In 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively, we derived approximately 17% of our net sales from customers located outside of the United States. Additionally, approximately 25% of our total long-lived assets were located outside of the United States as of December 31, 2017. As part of our strategy, we have made investments outside of the United States, particularly in China, Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil and India. As a result, we are subject to risks and uncertainties relating to international sales and operations, including:
Ÿ
Unforeseen global economic and environmental changes resulting in business interruption, supply constraints, inflation, deflation or decreased demand;
Ÿ
Inability to establish, develop and achieve market acceptance of our global brands in international markets;
Ÿ
Difficulties and costs associated with compliance and enforcement of remedies under a wide variety of complex laws, treaties and regulations;
Ÿ
Unexpected changes in regulatory environments;
Ÿ
Political and economic instability, including the possibility of civil unrest, terrorism, mass violence or armed conflict;
Ÿ
Nationalization of our properties by foreign governments;
Ÿ
Tax rates that may exceed those in the United States and earnings that may be subject to withholding requirements and incremental taxes upon repatriation;
Ÿ
Potentially negative consequences from changes in tax laws;
Ÿ
The imposition of tariffs, quotas, trade barriers, other trade protection measures and import or export licensing requirements;
Ÿ
Increased costs, disruptions in shipping or reduced availability of freight transportation;
Ÿ
The impact of currency exchange rate fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies;
Ÿ
Failure to gain sufficient profitable scale in certain international markets resulting in an inability to cover manufacturing fixed costs or resulting in losses from impairment or sale of assets; and
Ÿ
Failure to recruit, retain and build a talented and engaged global workforce.
If we are not able to achieve our projected international growth objectives and mitigate the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with our international operations, there could be a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
Disruptions, failures or security breaches of our information technology infrastructure could have a negative impact on our operations.
Information technology is critically important to our business operations. We use information technology to manage all business processes including manufacturing, financial, logistics, sales, marketing and administrative functions. These processes collect, interpret and distribute business data and communicate internally and externally with employees, suppliers, customers and others.

9



We are regularly the target of attempted cyber and other security threats.  Therefore, we continuously monitor and update our information technology networks and infrastructure to prevent, detect, address and mitigate the risk of unauthorized access, misuse, computer viruses and other events that could have a security impact. We invest in industry standard security technology to protect the Company’s data and business processes against risk of data security breach and cyber attack. Our data security management program includes identity, trust, vulnerability and threat management business processes as well as adoption of standard data protection policies. We measure our data security effectiveness through industry accepted methods and remediate significant findings. Additionally, we certify our major technology suppliers and any outsourced services through accepted security certification standards. We maintain and routinely test backup systems and disaster recovery, along with external network security penetration testing by an independent third party as part of our business continuity preparedness. We also have processes in place to prevent disruptions resulting from the implementation of new software and systems of the latest technology.
While we have been subject to cyber attacks and other security breaches, these incidents did not have a significant impact on our business operations. We believe our security technology tools and processes provide adequate measures of protection against security breaches and in reducing cybersecurity risks. Nevertheless, despite continued vigilance in these areas, disruptions in or failures of information technology systems are possible and could have a negative impact on our operations or business reputation. Failure of our systems, including failures due to cyber attacks that would prevent the ability of systems to function as intended, could cause transaction errors, loss of customers and sales, and could have negative consequences to our Company, our employees and those with whom we do business. This in turn could have a negative impact on our financial condition and results or operations. In addition, the cost to remediate any damages to our information technology systems suffered as a result of a cyber attack could be significant.
We might not be able to hire, engage and retain the talented global workforce we need to drive our growth strategies.
Our future success depends upon our ability to identify, hire, develop, engage and retain talented personnel across the globe. Competition for global talent is intense, and we might not be able to identify and hire the personnel we need to continue to evolve and grow our business. In particular, if we are unable to hire the right individuals to fill new or existing senior management positions as vacancies arise, our business performance may be impacted.
Activities related to identifying, recruiting, hiring and integrating qualified individuals require significant time and attention. We may also need to invest significant amounts of cash and equity to attract talented new employees, and we may never realize returns on these investments.
In addition to hiring new employees, we must continue to focus on retaining and engaging the talented individuals we need to sustain our core business and lead our developing businesses into new markets, channels and categories. This may require significant investments in training, coaching and other career development and retention activities. If we are not able to effectively retain and grow our talent, our ability to achieve our strategic objectives will be adversely affected, which may impact our financial condition and results of operations.
We may not fully realize the expected costs savings and/or operating efficiencies associated with our strategic initiatives or restructuring programs, which may have an adverse impact on our business.
We depend on our ability to evolve and grow, and as changes in our business environment occur, we may adjust our business plans by introducing new strategic initiatives or restructuring programs to meet these changes. From time to time, we implement business realignment activities to support key strategic initiatives designed to maintain long-term sustainable growth, such as the Margin for Growth Program we commenced in the first quarter of 2017. These programs are intended to increase our operating effectiveness and efficiency, to reduce our costs and/or to generate savings that can be reinvested in other areas of our business. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully implement these strategic initiatives and restructuring programs, that we will achieve or sustain the intended benefits under these programs, or that the benefits, even if achieved, will be adequate to meet our long-term growth and profitability expectations, which could in turn adversely affect our business.

10



Complications with the design or implementation of our new enterprise resource planning system could adversely impact our business and operations.
We rely extensively on information systems and technology to manage our business and summarize operating results. We are in the process of a multi-year implementation of a new global enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) system. This ERP system will replace our existing operating and financial systems. The ERP system is designed to accurately maintain the Company’s financial records, enhance operational functionality and provide timely information to the Company’s management team related to the operation of the business. The ERP system implementation process has required, and will continue to require, the investment of significant personnel and financial resources. We may not be able to successfully implement the ERP system without experiencing delays, increased costs and other difficulties. If we are unable to successfully design and implement the new ERP system as planned, our financial positions, results of operations and cash flows could be negatively impacted. Additionally, if we do not effectively implement the ERP system as planned or the ERP system does not operate as intended, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting could be adversely affected or our ability to assess those controls adequately could be delayed.
Item 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
Item 2.
PROPERTIES
Our principal properties include the following:
Country
 
Location
 
Type
 
Status
(Own/Lease)
United States
 
Hershey, Pennsylvania
(2 principal plants)
 
Manufacturing—confectionery products and pantry items
 
Own
 
 
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
 
Manufacturing—confectionery products
 
Own
 
 
Robinson, Illinois
 
Manufacturing—confectionery products, and pantry items
 
Own
 
 
Stuarts Draft, Virginia
 
Manufacturing—confectionery products and pantry items
 
Own
 
 
Edwardsville, Illinois
 
Distribution
 
Own
 
 
Palmyra, Pennsylvania
 
Distribution
 
Own
 
 
Ogden, Utah
 
Distribution
 
Own
Canada
 
Brantford, Ontario
 
Distribution
 
Own (1)
Mexico
 
Monterrey, Mexico
 
Manufacturing—confectionery products
 
Own
China
 
Shanghai, China
 
Manufacturing—confectionery products
 
Own
Malaysia
 
Johor, Malaysia
 
Manufacturing—confectionery products
 
Own

(1) We have an agreement with the Ferrero Group for the use of a warehouse and distribution facility of which the Company has been deemed to be the owner for accounting purposes.
In addition to the locations indicated above, we also own or lease several other properties and buildings worldwide which we use for manufacturing, sales, distribution and administrative functions. Our facilities are well maintained and generally have adequate capacity to accommodate seasonal demands, changing product mixes and certain additional growth. We continually improve our facilities to incorporate the latest technologies. The largest facilities are located in Hershey and Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Monterrey, Mexico; and Stuarts Draft, Virginia. The U.S., Canada and Mexico facilities in the table above primarily support our North America segment, while the China and Malaysia facilities primarily serve our International and Other segment. As discussed in Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, we do not manage our assets on a segment basis given the integration of certain manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and other activities in support of our global operations.

11



Item 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
The Company is subject to certain legal proceedings and claims arising out of the ordinary course of our business, which cover a wide range of matters including trade regulation, product liability, advertising, contracts, environmental issues, patent and trademark matters, labor and employment matters and tax. While it is not feasible to predict or determine the outcome of such proceedings and claims with certainty, in our opinion these matters, both individually and in the aggregate, are not expected to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Item 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.

12



SUPPLEMENTAL ITEM. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
The executive officers of the Company, their positions and, as of February 16, 2018, their ages are set forth below.
Name
 
Age
 
Positions Held During the Last Five Years
Michele G. Buck
 
56
 
President and Chief Executive Officer (March 2017); Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer (June 2016); President, North America (May 2013); Senior Vice President, Chief Growth Officer (September 2011)
Javier H. Idrovo
 
50
 
Chief Accounting Officer (August 2015); Senior Vice President, Finance and Planning (September 2011)
Patricia A. Little (1)
 
57
 
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (March 2015)
Terence L. O’Day
 
68
 
Senior Vice President, Chief Product Supply and Technology Officer (March 2017); Senior Vice President, Chief Supply Chain Officer (May 2013); Senior Vice President, Global Operations (December 2008)
Todd W. Tillemans (2)
 
56
 
President, U.S. (April 2017)
Leslie M. Turner
 
60
 
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary (July 2012)
Kevin R. Walling
 
52
 
Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer (November 2011)
Mary Beth West (3)
 
55
 
Senior Vice President, Chief Growth Officer (May 2017)

There are no family relationships among any of the above-named officers of our Company.

(1)
Ms. Little was elected Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer effective March 16, 2015. Prior to joining our Company she was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Kelly Services, Inc. (July 2008).
(2)
Mr. Tillemans was elected President, U.S. effective April 3, 2017. Prior to joining our Company he was President, Customer Development U.S. at Unilever N.V. (December 2012).
(3)
Ms. West was elected Senior Vice President, Chief Growth Officer effective May 1, 2017. Prior to joining our Company she was Executive Vice President, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer at J.C. Penney (June 2015) and Executive Vice President, Chief Category and Marketing Officer at Mondelez Global Inc. (October 2012).
Our Executive Officers are generally elected each year at the organization meeting of the Board in May.

13



PART II
Item 5.
MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our Common Stock is listed and traded principally on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “HSY.” The Class B Common Stock (“Class B Stock”) is not publicly traded.
The closing price of our Common Stock on December 31, 2017, was $113.51. There were 28,336 stockholders of record of our Common Stock and 6 stockholders of record of our Class B Stock as of December 31, 2017.
We paid $526.3 million in cash dividends on our Common Stock and Class B Stock in 2017 and $499.5 million in 2016. The annual dividend rate on our Common Stock in 2017 was $2.548 per share.
Information regarding dividends paid and the quarterly high and low market prices for our Common Stock and dividends paid for our Class B Stock for the two most recent fiscal years is disclosed in Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
On January 31, 2018, our Board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.656 per share of Common Stock payable on March 15, 2018, to stockholders of record as of February 23, 2018. It is the Company’s 353rd consecutive quarterly Common Stock dividend. A quarterly dividend of $0.596 per share of Class B Stock also was declared.
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds
None.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
There were no purchases of our Common Stock during the three months ended December 31, 2017.
In January 2016, our Board of Directors approved a $500 million share repurchase authorization.  As of December 31, 2017, approximately $100 million remained available for repurchases of our Common Stock under this program. In October 2017, our Board of Directors approved an additional $100 million share repurchase authorization, to commence after the existing 2016 authorization is completed. Neither the 2016 nor the 2017 share repurchase programs have an expiration date.
In August 2017, the Company entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement with Hershey Trust Company, as trustee for the Milton Hershey School Trust (the “Trust”), pursuant to which the Company agreed to purchase 1,500,000 shares of the Company’s common stock from the Trust at a price equal to $106.01 per share, for a total purchase price of $159 million.

14



Stockholder Return Performance Graph
The following graph compares our cumulative total stockholder return (Common Stock price appreciation plus dividends, on a reinvested basis) over the last five fiscal years with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Standard & Poor’s Packaged Foods Index.

Comparison of 5 Year Cumulative Total Return*
Among The Hershey Company, the S&P 500 Index,
and the S&P Packaged Foods Index
a2017_formx10-xchartx54867a0.jpg
*$100 invested on December 31, 2012 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends.

 
 
December 31,
Company/Index
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
The Hershey Company
 
$
100

 
$
137

 
$
150

 
$
132

 
$
157

 
$
176

S&P 500 Index
 
$
100

 
$
132

 
$
150

 
$
153

 
$
171

 
$
208

S&P 500 Packaged Foods Index
 
$
100

 
$
126

 
$
146

 
$
156

 
$
164

 
$
186


The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.


15



Item 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
FIVE-YEAR CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL SUMMARY
(All dollar and share amounts in thousands except market price and per share statistics)
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Summary of Operations
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Sales
 
$
7,515,426

 
7,440,181

 
7,386,626

 
7,421,768

 
7,146,079

Cost of Sales
 
$
4,070,907

 
4,282,290

 
4,003,951

 
4,085,602

 
3,865,231

Selling, Marketing and Administrative
 
$
1,913,403

 
1,915,378

 
1,969,308

 
1,900,970

 
1,922,508

Goodwill, Indefinite and Long-Lived Asset Impairment Charges
 
$
208,712

 
4,204

 
280,802

 
15,900

 

Business Realignment Costs
 
$
47,763

 
32,526

 
94,806

 
29,721

 
18,665

Interest Expense, Net
 
$
98,282

 
90,143

 
105,773

 
83,532

 
88,356

Provision for Income Taxes
 
$
354,131

 
379,437

 
388,896

 
459,131

 
430,849

Net Income Attributable to The Hershey Company
 
$
782,981

 
720,044

 
512,951

 
846,912

 
820,470

Net Income Per Share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
—Basic—Common Stock
 
$
3.79

 
3.45

 
2.40

 
3.91

 
3.76

—Diluted—Common Stock
 
$
3.66

 
3.34

 
2.32

 
3.77

 
3.61

—Basic—Class B Stock
 
$
3.44

 
3.15

 
2.19

 
3.54

 
3.39

—Diluted—Class B Stock
 
$
3.44

 
3.14

 
2.19

 
3.52

 
3.37

Weighted-Average Shares Outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
—Basic—Common Stock
 
151,625

 
153,519

 
158,471

 
161,935

 
163,549

—Basic—Class B Stock
 
60,620

 
60,620

 
60,620

 
60,620

 
60,627

—Diluted—Common Stock
 
213,742

 
215,304

 
220,651

 
224,837

 
227,203

Dividends Paid on Common Stock
 
$
387,466

 
369.292

 
352,953

 
328,752

 
294,979

Per Share
 
$
2.548

 
2.402

 
2.236

 
2.040

 
1.810

Dividends Paid on Class B Stock
 
$
140,394

 
132,394

 
123,179

 
111,662

 
98,822

Per Share
 
$
2.316

 
2.184

 
2.032

 
1.842

 
1.630

Depreciation
 
$
211,592

 
231,735

 
197,054

 
176,312

 
166,544

Amortization
 
$
50,261

 
70,102

 
47,874

 
35,220

 
34,489

Advertising
 
$
541,293

 
521,479

 
561,644

 
570,223

 
582,354

Year-End Position and Statistics
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Capital Additions (including software)
 
$
257,675

 
269,476

 
356,810

 
370,789

 
350,911

Total Assets
 
$
5,553,726

 
5,524,333

 
5,344,371

 
5,622,870

 
5,349,724

Short-term Debt and Current Portion of Long-term Debt
 
$
859,457

 
632,714

 
863,436

 
635,501

 
166,875

Long-term Portion of Debt
 
$
2,061,023

 
2,347,455

 
1,557,091

 
1,542,317

 
1,787,378

Stockholders’ Equity
 
$
931,565

 
827,687

 
1,047,462

 
1,519,530

 
1,616,052

Full-time Employees
 
15,360

 
16,300

 
19,060

 
20,800

 
12,600

Stockholders’ Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Outstanding Shares of Common Stock and Class B Stock at Year-end
 
210,861

 
212,260

 
216,777

 
221,045

 
223,895

Market Price of Common Stock at Year-end
 
$
113.51

 
103.43

 
89.27

 
103.93

 
97.23

Price Range During Year (high)
 
$
115.96

 
113.89

 
110.78

 
108.07

 
100.90

Price Range During Year (low)
 
$
102.87

 
83.32

 
83.58

 
88.15

 
73.51

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


16



Item 7.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
This Management's Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) is intended to provide an understanding of Hershey's financial condition, results of operations and cash flows by focusing on changes in certain key measures from year to year. The MD&A should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying Notes included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those discussed elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, particularly in Item 1A. “Risk Factors.”
The MD&A is organized in the following sections:
Business Model and Growth Strategy
Overview
Non-GAAP Information
Consolidated Results of Operations
Segment Results
Financial Condition
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
BUSINESS MODEL AND GROWTH STRATEGY
We are the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America, a leading snack maker in the United States and a global leader in chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery known for bringing goodness to the world through chocolate, sweets, mints and other great tasting snacks. We market, sell and distribute our products under more than 80 brand names in approximately 80 countries worldwide. We report our operations through two segments: North America and International and Other.
We believe we have a set of differentiated capabilities that when integrated, can create advantage in the marketplace. Our focus on the following key elements of our strategy should enable us to deliver top-tier growth and industry-leading shareholder returns.

Reignite Core Confection and Expand Breadth in Snacking. We are taking actions in an effort to deepen our consumer connections, deliver meaningful innovation and reinvent the shopping experience, while also pursuing opportunities to diversify our portfolio and establish a strong presence across snacking.
We are a part of special meaningful moments with family and friends. Seasons are an important part of our business model and for consumers, they are highly anticipated, cherished special times, centered around traditions. For us, it’s an opportunity for our brands to be part of many connections during the year when family and friends gather.
Innovation is an important lever in this variety seeking category and we are leveraging some exciting work from our proprietary demand landscape to shape our future innovation and make it more impactful. We are becoming more disciplined in our relentless focus on platform innovation, which enables sustainable growth over time and significant extensions to our core.
Through our shopper insights, we are currently working with our retail partners on in-aisle strategy that will breathe life into the center of the store and transform the shopping experience by improving paths to purchase, stopping power, navigation, engagement and conversion. We have also responded to the changing retail environment by investing in e-commerce capabilities.
To expand our breadth in snacking, we are focused on expanding the boundaries of our core confection brands to capture new snacking occasions and increasing our exposure into new snack categories through acquisitions.

17



Reallocate Resources to Expand Margins and Fuel Growth. We are focused on ensuring that we allocate our resources efficiently to the areas with the highest potential for profitable growth. We believe this will enable significant margin expansion and position us in the top quartile related to operating income margin.
We have reset our international investment, while we still believe strongly that our targeted emerging markets will provide long-term growth. The uncertain macroeconomic environment in many of these markets is expected to continue and our investments in these international markets need to be relative to the size of the opportunity.
We have heightened our selling, marketing and administrative expense discipline within the Company in an effort to make improvements without jeopardizing our topline growth. Our expectation is that advertising and related marketing expense will grow roughly in line with sales.
We will continue cost of goods sold optimization through pricing and programs like network supply chain optimization and lean manufacturing.

Strengthen Capabilities & Leverage Technology for Commercial Advantage. The world is changing fast and so is the data on which we rely to make decisions. In order to generate insights, we must acquire, integrate and access vast sources of the right data in an effective manner. We are working to leverage our advanced analytical techniques which will give us a deep understanding of consumers, our shoppers, our end-to-end supply chain, our retail environment and macroeconomic factors at both a broad and precision level. In addition, we are in the process of transforming our enterprise resource planning system which will allow employees to work more efficiently and effectively.
OVERVIEW
The Overview presented below is an executive-level summary highlighting the key trends and measures on which the Company’s management focuses in evaluating its financial condition and operating performance. Certain earnings and performance measures within the Overview include financial information determined on a non-GAAP basis, which aligns with how management internally evaluates the Company's results of operations, determines incentive compensation, and assesses the impact of known trends and uncertainties on the business. A detailed reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures referenced herein to their nearest comparable GAAP financial measures follows this summary. For a detailed analysis of the Company's operations prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"), referred to as "reported" herein, refer to the discussion and analysis in the Consolidated Results of Operations.
In 2017, we made solid progress on our strategic initiatives, including strengthening our core chocolate brands, positioning our snacks business for success and generating operating profit margin expansion. These initiatives will benefit the Company over the long term and enable us to achieve our sales and earnings per share-diluted ("EPS") targets. We continued to generate solid operating cash flow, totaling approximately $1.2 billion in 2017, which affords the Company significant financial flexibility. The recent acquisition of Amplify is an important step in our journey to expand our breadth in snacking as it should enable us to bring scale and category management capabilities to a key sub-segment of the warehouse snack aisle.
Our full year 2017 net sales totaled $7,515.4 million, an increase of 1.0%, versus $7,440.2 million for the comparable period of 2016. Excluding a 0.2% impact from favorable foreign exchange rates, our net sales increased 0.8%. Net sales growth was driven by lower levels of trade promotional spending in both the North America and International and Other segments, as well as higher sales volume in North America, primarily from 2017 innovation and new launches, including Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch, Hershey's Gold and Hershey's and Reese's Popped Snack Mix and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels.
Our reported gross margin was 45.8% for the full year 2017, an increase of 340 basis points compared to the full year 2016. Our 2017 non-GAAP gross margin of 45.6% was on par with the prior year margin, as the benefits from supply chain productivity and cost savings initiatives, as well as lower input costs, were offset by higher freight rates and increased levels of manufacturing and distribution costs associated with an effort to maintain customer service targets at fast growing retail customers.

18



Our full year 2017 reported net income and EPS-diluted totaled $783.0 million and $3.66, respectively, compared to the full year 2016 reported net income and EPS-diluted of $720.0 million and $3.34, respectively. From a non-GAAP perspective, full year 2017 adjusted net income was $1,016.9 million, an increase of 7.2% versus $948.5 million in 2016. Our adjusted EPS-diluted for the full year 2017 was $4.76 compared to $4.41 for the same period of 2016, an increase of 7.9%.
NON-GAAP INFORMATION
The comparability of certain of our financial measures is impacted by unallocated mark-to-market (gains) losses on commodity derivatives, costs associated with business realignment activities, costs relating to the integration of acquisitions, non-service related components of our pension expense ("NSRPE"), impairment of goodwill, indefinite and long-lived assets, settlement of the SGM liability in conjunction with the purchase of the remaining 20% of the outstanding shares of SGM, the gain realized on the sale of a trademark, costs associated with the early extinguishment of debt and other non-recurring gains and losses.
To provide additional information to investors to facilitate the comparison of past and present performance, we use non-GAAP financial measures within MD&A that exclude the financial impact of these activities. These non-GAAP financial measures are used internally by management in evaluating results of operations and determining incentive compensation, and in assessing the impact of known trends and uncertainties on our business, but they are not intended to replace the presentation of financial results in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures referenced in MD&A to their nearest comparable GAAP financial measures as presented in the Consolidated Statements of Income is provided below.


19



Reconciliation of Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Consolidated results
For the years ended December 31,
In thousands except per share data
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Reported gross profit
$
3,444,519

 
$
3,157,891

 
$
3,382,675

Derivative mark-to-market (gains) losses
(35,292
)
 
163,238

 

Business realignment activities
5,147

 
58,106

 
8,801

Acquisition integration costs

 

 
7,308

NSRPE
11,125

 
11,953

 
2,516

Non-GAAP gross profit
$
3,425,499

 
$
3,391,188

 
$
3,401,300

 
 
 
 
 
 
Reported operating profit
$
1,274,641

 
$
1,205,783

 
$
1,037,759

Derivative mark-to-market (gains) losses
(35,292
)
 
163,238

 

Business realignment activities
69,359

 
107,571

 
120,975

Acquisition integration costs
311

 
6,480

 
20,899

NSRPE
35,028

 
27,157

 
18,079

Goodwill, indefinite and long-lived asset impairment charges
208,712

 
4,204

 
280,802

Non-GAAP operating profit
$
1,552,759

 
$
1,514,433

 
$
1,478,514

 
 
 
 
 
 
Reported provision for income taxes
$
354,131

 
$
379,437

 
$
388,896

Derivative mark-to-market (gains) losses*
(4,746
)
 
20,500

 

Business realignment activities*
17,903

 
19,138

 
41,648

Acquisition integration costs*
118

 
2,456

 
8,264

NSRPE*
13,258

 
10,283

 
6,955

Goodwill, indefinite and long-lived asset impairment charges*
23,292

 
1,157

 

Impact of U.S. tax reform
(32,467
)
 

 

Loss on early extinguishment of debt*

 

 
10,736

Gain on sale of trademark*

 

 
(3,652
)
Non-GAAP provision for income taxes
$
371,489

 
$
432,971

 
$
452,847

 
 
 
 
 
 
Reported net income
$
782,981

 
$
720,044

 
$
512,951

Derivative mark-to-market (gains) losses
(30,546
)
 
142,738

 

Business realignment activities
51,456

 
88,433

 
79,327

Acquisition integration costs
193

 
4,024

 
14,196

NSRPE
21,770

 
16,874

 
11,124

Goodwill, indefinite and long-lived asset impairment charges
185,420

 
3,047

 
280,802

Impact of U.S. tax reform
32,467

 

 

Noncontrolling interest share of business realignment and impairment charges
(26,795
)
 

 

Settlement of SGM liability

 
(26,650
)
 

Loss on early extinguishment of debt

 

 
17,591

Gain on sale of trademark

 

 
(6,298
)
Non-GAAP net income
$
1,016,946

 
$
948,510

 
$
909,693

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

20



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For the years ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Reported EPS - Diluted
$
3.66

 
$
3.34

 
$
2.32

Derivative mark-to-market (gains) losses
(0.14
)
 
0.66

 

Business realignment activities
0.25

 
0.42

 
0.36

Acquisition integration costs

 
0.02

 
0.05

NSRPE
0.09

 
0.08

 
0.05

Goodwill, indefinite and long-lived asset impairment charges
0.87

 
0.01

 
1.28

Impact of U.S. tax reform
0.15

 

 

Noncontrolling interest share of business realignment and impairment charges
(0.12
)
 

 

Settlement of SGM liability

 
(0.12
)
 

Loss on early extinguishment of debt

 

 
0.09

Gain on sale of trademark

 

 
(0.03
)
Non-GAAP EPS - Diluted
$
4.76

 
$
4.41

 
$
4.12


* The tax effect for each adjustment is determined by calculating the tax impact of the adjustment on the Company's quarterly effective tax rate.

In the assessment of our results, we review and discuss the following financial metrics that are derived from the reported and non-GAAP financial measures presented above:
 
For the years ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
As reported gross margin
45.8
%
 
42.4
%
 
45.8
%
Non-GAAP gross margin (1)
45.6
%
 
45.6
%
 
46.0
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
As reported operating profit margin
17.0
%
 
16.2
%
 
14.0
%
Non-GAAP operating profit margin (2)
20.7
%
 
20.4
%
 
20.0
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
As reported effective tax rate
31.9
%
 
34.5
%
 
43.1
%
Non-GAAP effective tax rate (3)
26.7
%
 
31.3
%
 
33.2
%

(1)
Calculated as non-GAAP gross profit as a percentage of net sales for each period presented.
(2)
Calculated as non-GAAP operating profit as a percentage of net sales for each period presented.
(3)
Calculated as non-GAAP provision for income taxes as a percentage of non-GAAP income before taxes (calculated as non-GAAP operating profit minus non-GAAP interest expense, net plus or minus non-GAAP other (income) expense, net).

Details of the activities impacting comparability that are presented as reconciling items to derive the non-GAAP financial measures in the tables above are as follows:

Mark-to-market (gains) losses on commodity derivatives
The mark-to-market (gains) losses on commodity derivatives are recorded as unallocated and excluded from adjusted results until such time as the related inventory is sold, at which time the corresponding (gains) losses are reclassified from unallocated to segment income. Since we often purchase commodity contracts to price inventory requirements in future years, we make this adjustment to facilitate the year-over-year comparison of cost of sales on a basis that matches the derivative gains and losses with the underlying economic exposure being hedged for the period. For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, the net adjustment recognized within unallocated was a gain of $35.3 million and a loss of $163.2 million, respectively. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information.


21



Business realignment activities
We periodically undertake restructuring and cost reduction activities as part of ongoing efforts to enhance long-term profitability. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, we incurred $69.4 million, $107.6 million and $121.0 million, respectively, of pre-tax costs related to business realignment activities. See Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information.
 
Acquisition integration costs
For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, we incurred expenses totaling $0.3 million and $6.5 million, respectively, related to integration of the 2016 acquisition of Ripple Brand Collective, LLC, as we incorporated this business into our operating practices and information systems. For the year ended December 31, 2015, we incurred costs related to the integration of the 2014 acquisitions of SGM and The Allan Candy Company and the 2015 acquisition of Krave totaling $22.5 million as we incorporated these businesses into our operating practices and information systems. These 2015 expenses included charges incurred to write-down approximately $6.4 million of expired or near-expiration work-in-process inventory at SGM, in connection with the implementation of our global quality standards and practices. In addition, integration costs for 2015 were offset by a $6.8 million reduction in the fair value of contingent consideration paid to the Krave shareholders.

Non-service related pension expense
NSRPE includes interest costs, the expected return on pension plan assets, the amortization of actuarial gains and losses, and certain curtailment and settlement losses or credits. NSRPE can fluctuate from year to year as a result of changes in market interest rates and market returns on pension plan assets. We believe that the service cost component of our total pension benefit costs closely reflects the operating costs of our business and provides for a better comparison of our operating results from year to year. Therefore, we exclude NSRPE from our internal performance measures. Our most significant defined benefit pension plans have been closed to new participants for a number of years, resulting in ongoing service costs that are stable and predictable. We recorded pre-tax NSRPE of $35.0 million, $27.2 million and $18.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Goodwill, indefinite and long-lived asset impairment charges
For the year ended December 31, 2017, we incurred $208.7 million of pre-tax long-lived asset impairment charges related to certain business realignment activities. This includes a write-down of certain intangible assets that had been recognized in connection with the 2014 SGM acquisition and write-down of property, plant and equipment. For the year ended December 31, 2016, in connection with our 2016 annual impairment testing of other indefinite lived assets, we recognized a trademark impairment charge of $4.2 million primarily resulting from plans to discontinue a brand sold in India. In the second and third quarters of 2015, we recorded a total $280.8 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge, representing a write-down of all of the goodwill resulting from the SGM acquisition, including $14.4 million relating to the portion of goodwill that had been allocated to our China chocolate reporting unit, based on synergies to be realized by this business.

Impact of U.S. tax reform
In connection with the enactment of U.S. tax reform in December 2017, we recorded a net charge of $32.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2017, which includes the estimated impact of the one-time mandatory tax on previously deferred earnings of non-U.S. subsidiaries offset in part by the benefit from revaluation of net deferred tax liabilities based on the new lower corporate income tax rate. 

Noncontrolling interest share of business realignment and impairment charges
Certain of the business realignment and impairment charges recorded in connection with the Margin for Growth Program related to Lotte Shanghai Foods Co., Ltd., a joint venture in which we own a 50% controlling interest. Therefore, we have also adjusted for the portion of these charges included within the loss attributed to the non-controlling interest.


22



Settlement of SGM liability
In the fourth quarter of 2015, we reached an agreement with the SGM selling shareholders to reduce the originally-agreed purchase price for the remaining 20% of SGM, and we completed the purchase on February 3, 2016. In the first quarter of 2016, we recorded a $26.7 million gain relating to the settlement of the SGM liability, representing the net carrying amount of the recorded liability in excess of the cash paid to settle the obligation for the remaining 20% of the outstanding shares.

Loss on early extinguishment of debt
During the third quarter of 2015, we recorded a $28.3 million loss on the early extinguishment of debt relating to a cash tender offer. See Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.

Gain on sale of trademark
During the first quarter of 2015, we recorded a $9.9 million gain relating to the sale of a non-core trademark.

Constant Currency Net Sales Growth
We present certain percentage changes in net sales on a constant currency basis, which excludes the impact of foreign currency exchange.  This measure is used internally by management in evaluating results of operations and determining incentive compensation.  We believe that this measure provides useful information to investors because it provides transparency to underlying performance in our net sales by excluding the effect that foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations have on the year-to-year comparability given volatility in foreign currency exchange markets.

To present this information for historical periods, current period net sales for entities reporting in other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the average monthly exchange rates in effect during the corresponding period of the prior fiscal year, rather than at the actual average monthly exchange rates in effect during the current period of the current fiscal year. As a result, the foreign currency impact is equal to the current year results in local currencies multiplied by the change in average foreign currency exchange rate between the current fiscal period and the corresponding period of the prior fiscal year. 

The following tables set forth a reconciliation between reported and constant currency growth rates for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016:
 
For the Year Ended December 31, 2017
 
Percentage Change as Reported
 
Impact of Foreign Currency Exchange
 
Percentage Change on Constant Currency Basis
North America segment
 
 
 
 
 
Canada
6.3
 %
 
2.1
 %
 
4.2
 %
Total North America segment
1.3
 %
 
0.1
 %
 
1.2
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
International and Other segment
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico
9.7
 %
 
(1.1
)%
 
10.8
 %
Brazil
19.9
 %
 
9.4
 %
 
10.5
 %
India
17.0
 %
 
3.2
 %
 
13.8
 %
Greater China
(18.1
)%
 
(0.8
)%
 
(17.3
)%
Total International and Other segment
(1.4
)%
 
0.6
 %
 
(2.0
)%
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Company
1.0
 %
 
0.2
 %
 
0.8
 %

23



 
For the Year Ended December 31, 2016
 
Percentage Change as Reported
 
Impact of Foreign Currency Exchange
 
Percentage Change on Constant Currency Basis
North America segment
 
 
 
 
 
Canada
(3.5
)%
 
(3.0
)%
 
(0.5
)%
Total North America segment
1.0
 %
 
(0.2
)%
 
1.2
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
International and Other segment
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico
(8.5
)%
 
(16.0
)%
 
7.5
 %
Brazil
15.7
 %
 
(6.0
)%
 
21.7
 %
India
(26.6
)%
 
(3.6
)%
 
(23.0
)%
Greater China
(0.3
)%
 
(4.9
)%
 
4.6
 %
Total International and Other segment
(1.2
)%
 
(4.4
)%
 
3.2
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Company
0.7
 %
 
(0.7
)%
 
1.4
 %


24



CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Percent Change
For the years ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2017 vs 2016
 
2016 vs 2015
In millions of dollars except per share amounts
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Sales
 
$
7,515.4

 
$
7,440.2

 
$
7,386.6

 
1.0
 %
 
0.7
 %
Cost of Sales
 
4,070.9

 
4,282.3

 
4,003.9

 
(4.9
)%
 
7.0
 %
Gross Profit
 
3,444.5

 
3,157.9

 
3,382.7

 
9.1
 %
 
(6.6
)%
Gross Margin
 
45.8
%
 
42.4
%
 
45.8
%
 
 
 
 
SM&A Expense
 
1,913.4

 
1,915.4

 
1,969.3

 
(0.1
)%
 
(2.7
)%
SM&A Expense as a percent of net sales
 
25.5
%
 
25.7
%
 
26.7
%
 
 
 
 
Goodwill, Indefinite and Long-Lived Asset Impairment Charges
 
208.7

 
4.2

 
280.8

 
NM

 
NM

Business Realignment Costs
 
47.8

 
32.5

 
94.8

 
46.8
 %
 
(65.7
)%
Operating Profit
 
1,274.6

 
1,205.8

 
1,037.8

 
5.7
 %
 
16.2
 %
Operating Profit Margin
 
17.0
%
 
16.2
%
 
14.0
%
 
 
 
 
Interest Expense, Net
 
98.3

 
90.2

 
105.8

 
9.0
 %
 
(14.8
)%
Other (Income) Expense, Net
 
65.7

 
16.2

 
30.1

 
306.5
 %
 
(46.4
)%
Provision for Income Taxes
 
354.1

 
379.4

 
388.9

 
(6.7
)%
 
(2.4
)%
Effective Income Tax Rate
 
31.9
%
 
34.5
%
 
43.1
%
 
 
 
 
Net Income Including Noncontrolling Interest
 
756.5

 
720.0

 
513.0

 
5.1
 %
 
40.4
 %
Less: Net Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest
 
(26.4
)
 

 

 
NM

 
NM

Net Income Attributable to The Hershey Company
 
$
783.0

 
$
720.0

 
$
513.0

 
8.7
 %
 
40.4
 %
Net Income Per Share—Diluted
 
$
3.66

 
$
3.34

 
$
2.32

 
9.6
 %
 
44.0
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Note: Percentage changes may not compute directly as shown due to rounding of amounts presented above.
NM = not meaningful.
Net Sales
2017 compared with 2016
Net sales increased 1.0% in 2017 compared with 2016, reflecting favorable price realization of 0.7%, a benefit from acquisitions of 0.3%, and a favorable impact from foreign currency exchange rates of 0.2%, partially offset by a volume decrease of 0.2%. Excluding foreign currency, our net sales increased 0.8% in 2017. The favorable net price realization was attributed to lower levels of trade promotional spending in both the North America and International and Other segments versus the prior year. Consolidated volume decreased as a result of lower sales volume in the International and Other segment, primarily attributed to our China business and the softness in the modern trade channel coupled with a focus on optimizing our product offerings. These volume decreases were partially offset by higher sales volume in North America, specifically from 2017 innovation and new launches, including Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch, Hershey's Gold and Hershey's and Reese's Popped Snack Mix and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels.
2016 compared with 2015
Net sales increased 0.7% in 2016 compared with 2015, reflecting volume increases of 0.8% and a 0.6% benefit from net acquisitions and divestitures, partially offset by an unfavorable impact from foreign currency exchange rates of 0.7%. Excluding foreign currency, our net sales increased 1.4% in 2016. The volume improvement was primarily driven by new chocolate and snacking products in the United States, including Snack Mix, Snack Bites and Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch bars. While the North America segment had unfavorable price realization due to increased levels of trade promotional spending, this was essentially offset by favorable price realization in the International and Other segment, due to significantly lower levels of trade spending and returns, discounts and allowances.

25



Key U.S. Marketplace Metrics
For the full year 2017, our U.S. candy, mint and gum ("CMG") consumer takeaway increased 1.6%, which was in line with the category increase, resulting in market share of 30.6%. The CMG consumer takeaway and market share information reflect measured channels of distribution accounting for approximately 90% of our U.S. confectionery retail business. These channels of distribution primarily include food, drug, mass merchandisers, and convenience store channels, plus Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., partial dollar, club and military channels. These metrics are based on measured market scanned purchases as reported by Information Resources, Incorporated ("IRI"), the Company's market insights and analytics provider, and provide a means to assess our retail takeaway and market position relative to the overall category. The amounts presented above are solely for the U.S. CMG category which does not include revenue from our snack mixes and grocery items. For the full year 2017, our U.S. retail takeaway increased 1.2% in the expanded multi-outlet combined plus convenience store channels (IRI MULO + C-Stores), which includes candy, mint, gum, salty snacks, snack bars, meat snacks and grocery items.
Cost of Sales and Gross Margin
2017 compared with 2016
Cost of sales decreased 4.9% in 2017 compared with 2016. The reduction was driven by lower commodity costs coupled with an incremental $116.0 million favorable impact from marking-to-market our commodity derivative instruments intended to economically hedge future years' commodity purchases, a $53.0 million decrease in business realignment costs, and supply chain productivity and cost savings initiatives. These benefits were offset in part by higher freight and warehousing costs and unfavorable manufacturing variances.
Gross margin increased by 340 basis points in 2017 compared with 2016. Lower commodity costs coupled with the favorable year-over-year mark-to-market impact from commodity derivative instruments, lower business realignment costs, and supply chain productivity contributed to the improvement in gross margin. However, higher supply chain costs and unfavorable product mix partially offset the increase in gross margin.
2016 compared with 2015
Cost of sales increased 7.0% in 2016 compared with 2015. Incremental business realignment costs and mark-to-market losses on commodity derivative instruments increased cost of sales by 5.3%, while the remaining increase was primarily attributed to higher volume and higher supply chain costs, in part due to higher manufacturing variances and some incremental fixed costs related to the commencement of manufacturing in the Malaysia facility.
Gross margin decreased by 340 basis points in 2016 compared with 2015. Mark-to-market losses on commodity derivative instruments and incremental depreciation expense related to business realignment activities drove a 300 basis point decline in gross margin. Higher trade promotional spending and supply chain costs also contributed to the decreased gross margin, but were partially offset by supply chain productivity and cost savings initiatives.

26



Selling, Marketing and Administrative
2017 compared with 2016
Selling, marketing and administrative (“SM&A”) expenses decreased $2.0 million or 0.1% in 2017. Advertising and related consumer marketing expense remaining consistent with 2016 levels, as higher spending by the North America segment was offset by reduced spending by the International and Other segment. While 2017 SM&A benefited from costs savings and efficiency initiatives, lower business realignment costs, and lower acquisition integration costs, these savings were offset in part by higher pension settlement charges and higher costs related to acquisition due diligence activities and the implementation of our new enterprise resource planning system.
2016 compared with 2015
SM&A expenses decreased $53.9 million or 2.7% in 2016. Advertising and related consumer marketing expense decreased 4.0% during this period. We spent less on advertising and related consumer marketing in our International and Other segment, particularly in the China market, and our spending in North America declined as our marketing mix models were weighted toward higher trade promotional spending. Excluding these advertising and related consumer marketing costs, selling and administrative expenses for 2016 decreased by 2.0% as compared to 2015 as a result of our continued focus on reducing non-essential spending. SM&A expenses in 2016 were also impacted by business realignment costs of $18.6 million, NSRPE of $15.2 million and acquisition and integration costs of $6.5 million. In 2015, SM&A expenses included business realignment costs of $17.4 million, NSRPE of $15.6 million and acquisition and integration costs of $13.6 million.
Goodwill, Indefinite and Long-Lived Asset Impairment Charges
In 2017, we recorded long-lived asset impairment charges totaling $106.0 million to write-down distributor relationship and trademark intangible assets that had been recognized in connection with the 2014 SGM acquisition and wrote-down property, plant and equipment by $102.7 million.
In 2016, in connection with the annual impairment testing of indefinite lived intangible assets, we recognized a trademark impairment charge of $4.2 million, primarily resulting from plans to discontinue a brand sold in India.
In 2015, we recorded goodwill impairment charges totaling $280.8 million resulting from our reassessment of the valuation of the SGM business, coupled with the write-down of goodwill attributed to the China chocolate business in connection with the SGM acquisition from September 2014.
The assessment of the valuation of goodwill and other long-lived assets is based on management estimates and assumptions, as discussed in our critical accounting policies included in Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. These estimates and assumptions are subject to change due to changing economic and competitive conditions.

27



Business Realignment Activities
We are currently pursuing several business realignment activities designed to increase our efficiency and focus our business behind key growth strategies. Costs recorded for business realignment activities during 2017, 2016 and 2015 are as follows:
For the years ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
In millions of dollars
 
 
 
 
 
Margin for Growth Program:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Severance
 
$
32.6

 
$

 
$

Accelerated depreciation
 
6.9

 

 

Other program costs
 
16.4

 

 

Operational Optimization Program:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Severance
 
$
13.8

 
$
17.9

 
$

Accelerated depreciation
 

 
48.6

 

Other program costs
 
(0.3
)
 
21.8

 

2015 Productivity Initiative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Severance
 

 

 
81.3

Pension settlement charges
 

 
13.7

 
10.2

Other program costs
 

 
5.6

 
14.3

Other international restructuring programs:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Severance
 

 

 
6.6

Accelerated depreciation and amortization
 

 

 
5.9

Mauna Loa divestiture
 

 

 
2.7

Total
 
$
69.4

 
$
107.6

 
$
121.0

Costs associated with business realignment activities are classified in our Consolidated Statements of Income as described in Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Margin for Growth Program
In February 2017, the Company's Board of Directors unanimously approved several initiatives under a single program designed to drive continued net sales, operating income and earnings per-share diluted growth over the next several years.  This program will focus on improving global efficiency and effectiveness, optimizing the Company’s supply chain, streamlining the Company’s operating model and reducing administrative expenses to generate long-term savings. 
The Company estimates that the “Margin for Growth” program will result in total pre-tax charges of $375 million to $425 million from 2017 to 2019.  This estimate includes plant and office closure expenses of $100 million to $115 million, net intangible asset impairment charges of $100 million to $110 million, employee separation costs of $80 million to $100 million, contract termination costs of approximately $25 million, and other business realignment costs of $70 million to $75 million. The cash portion of the total charge is estimated to be $150 million to $175 million. At the conclusion of the program in 2019, ongoing annual savings are expected to be approximately $150 million to $175 million. The Company expects that implementation of the program will reduce its global workforce by approximately 15%, with a majority of the reductions coming from hourly headcount positions outside of the United States.
The program includes an initiative to optimize the manufacturing operations supporting our China business.  We deemed this to be a triggering event requiring us to test our China long-lived asset group for impairment by first determining whether the carrying value of the asset group was recovered by our current estimates of future cash flows associated with the asset group. Because this assessment indicated that the carrying value was not recoverable, we calculated an impairment loss as the excess of the asset group's carrying value over its fair value. The resulting impairment loss was allocated to the asset group's long-lived assets. Therefore, as a result of this testing, during the first quarter of 2017, we recorded impairment charges totaling $208.7 million, with $106.0 million representing the

28



portion of the impairment loss that was allocated to the distributor relationship and trademark intangible assets that had been recognized in connection with the 2014 SGM acquisition and $102.7 million representing the portion of the impairment loss that was allocated to property, plant and equipment. These impairment charges are recorded in the long-lived asset impairment charges caption within the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
During 2017, we recognized estimated employee severance totaling $32.6 million. These charges relate largely to our initiative to improve the cost structure of our China business, as well as our initiative to further streamline our corporate operating model. We also recognized non-cash, asset-related incremental depreciation expense totaling $6.9 million as part of optimizing the North America supply chain. During 2017, we also recognized other program costs totaling $16.4 million. These charges relate primarily to third-party charges for our initiative of improving global efficiency and effectiveness.
Operational Optimization Program
In the second quarter of 2016, we commenced a program (the “Operational Optimization Program”) to optimize our production and supply chain network, which includes select facility consolidations. The program encompasses the continued transition of our China chocolate and SGM operations into a united Golden Hershey platform, including the integration of the China sales force, as well as workforce planning efforts and the consolidation of production within certain facilities in China and North America.
For the year ended December 31, 2017, we incurred pre-tax costs totaling $13.5 million, primarily related to employee severance associated with the workforce planning efforts within North America. We currently expect to incur additional cash costs of approximately $8 million over the next twelve months to complete this program.
2015 Productivity Initiative
In mid-2015, we initiated a productivity initiative (the “2015 Productivity Initiative”) intended to move decision making closer to the customer and the consumer, to enable a more enterprise-wide approach to innovation, to more swiftly advance our knowledge agenda, and to provide for a more efficient cost structure, while ensuring that we effectively allocate resources to future growth areas. Overall, the 2015 Productivity Initiative was undertaken to simplify the organizational structure to enhance the Company's ability to rapidly anticipate and respond to the changing demands of the global consumer.
The 2015 Productivity Initiative was executed throughout the third and fourth quarters of 2015, resulting in a net reduction of approximately 300 positions, with the majority of the departures taking place by the end of 2015. The 2015 Productivity Initiative was completed during the third quarter 2016. We incurred total costs of $125 million relating to this program, including pension settlement charges of $13.7 million recorded in 2016 and $10.2 million recorded in 2015 relating to lump sum withdrawals by employees retiring or leaving the Company as a result of this program.
Other international restructuring programs
Costs incurred for the year ended December 31, 2015 related principally to accelerated depreciation and amortization and employee severance costs for minor programs commenced in 2014 to rationalize certain non-U.S. manufacturing and distribution activities and to establish our own sales and distribution teams in Brazil in connection with our exit from the Bauducco joint venture.
Operating Profit and Operating Profit Margin
2017 compared with 2016
Operating profit increased 5.7% in 2017 compared with 2016 due primarily to higher gross profit and slightly lower SM&A expenses, as discussed previously. Operating profit margin increased to 17.0% in 2017 from 16.2% in 2016 driven by the improvement in gross margin.
2016 compared with 2015
Operating profit increased 16.2% in 2016 compared with 2015 due primarily to lower goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges, lower SM&A costs and lower business realignment costs, offset in part by the lower gross profit. Operating profit margin increased to 16.2% in 2016 from 14.0% in 2015 due primarily to these same factors.

29



Interest Expense, Net
2017 compared with 2016
Net interest expense was $8.1 million higher in 2017 than in 2016. The increase was due to higher levels of long-term debt outstanding and higher interest rates on commercial paper during the 2017 period, as well as a decreased benefit from the fixed to floating swaps.
2016 compared with 2015
Net interest expense was $15.6 million lower in 2016 than in 2015, as the 2015 amount included the premium paid to repurchase long-term debt as part of a cash tender offer. This decrease was partially offset by lower capitalized interest expense and lower interest income.
Other (Income) Expense, Net
2017 compared with 2016
Other (income) expense, net totaled expense of $65.7 million in 2017 versus expense of $16.2 million 2016. In 2017 we recognized a $66.2 million write-down on equity investments qualifying for federal historic and energy tax credits, compared to a $43.5 million write down in 2016. Additionally, 2016 was offset by an extinguishment gain of $26.7 million related to the settlement of the SGM liability.
2016 compared with 2015
Other (income) expense, net totaled expense of $16.2 million in 2016 versus expense of $30.1 million in 2015. The decrease was primarily due to the $26.7 million settlement of the SGM liability in 2016, partially offset by an increase in the write-down of equity investments qualifying for federal historic and energy tax credits.
Income Taxes and Effective Tax Rate
2017 compared with 2016
Our effective income tax rate was 31.9% for 2017 compared with 34.5% for 2016. Relative to the statutory rate, the 2017 effective tax rate was impacted by a favorable foreign rate differential relating to foreign operations and cocoa procurement, investment tax credits and the benefit of ASU 2016-09 for the accounting of employee share-based payments, which were partially offset by the impact of U.S. tax reform and non-benefited costs resulting from the Margin for Growth Program.  The 2016 effective rate benefited from the impact of non-taxable income related to the settlement of the SGM liability and investment tax credits.
2016 compared with 2015
Our effective income tax rate was 34.5% for 2016 compared with 43.1% for 2015. Relative to the statutory rate, the 2016 effective tax rate was impacted by greater benefits from manufacturing deductions, research and development and investment tax credits, and a favorable foreign rate differential relating to our cocoa procurement operations.
Net Income attributable to The Hershey Company and Earnings Per Share-diluted
2017 compared with 2016
Net income increased $62.9 million, or 8.7%, while EPS-diluted increased $0.32, or 9.6%, in 2017 compared with 2016. The increase in both net income and EPS-diluted were driven by higher gross profit, lower SM&A and lower income taxes, partly offset by the long-lived asset impairment charges and higher write-downs relating to tax credit investments, as noted above. Our 2017 EPS-diluted also benefited from lower weighted-average shares outstanding as a result of share repurchases, including a current year repurchase from the Milton Hershey School Trust and prior year repurchases pursuant to our Board-approved repurchase programs.
2016 compared with 2015
Net income increased $207.0 million, or 40.4%, while EPS-diluted increased $1.02, or 44.0%, in 2016 compared with 2015. The increases in both net income and EPS-diluted were driven by the lower goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges, lower SM&A costs and lower business realignment costs, as noted above. Our 2016 EPS-diluted also benefited from lower weighted-average shares outstanding as a result of share repurchases pursuant to our Board-approved repurchase programs.

30



SEGMENT RESULTS
The summary that follows provides a discussion of the results of operations of our two reportable segments: North America and International and Other. The segments reflect our operations on a geographic basis. For segment reporting purposes, we use “segment income” to evaluate segment performance and allocate resources. Segment income excludes unallocated general corporate administrative expenses, unallocated mark-to-market gains and losses on commodity derivatives, business realignment and impairment charges, acquisition integration costs and NSRPE that are not part of our measurement of segment performance. These items of our operating income are largely managed centrally at the corporate level and are excluded from the measure of segment income reviewed by the CODM and used for resource allocation and internal management reporting and performance evaluation. Segment income and segment income margin, which are presented in the segment discussion that follows, are non-GAAP measures and do not purport to be alternatives to operating income as a measure of operating performance. We believe that these measures are useful to investors and other users of our financial information in evaluating ongoing operating profitability as well as in evaluating operating performance in relation to our competitors, as they exclude the activities that are not directly attributable to our ongoing segment operations. For further information, see the Non-GAAP Information section of this MD&A.
Our segment results, including a reconciliation to our consolidated results, were as follows:
For the years ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
In millions of dollars
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Sales:
 
 
 
 
 
 
North America
 
$
6,621.2

 
$
6,533.0

 
$
6,468.1

International and Other
 
894.3

 
907.2

 
918.5

Total
 
$
7,515.4

 
$
7,440.2

 
$
7,386.6

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Segment Income (Loss):
 
 
 
 
 
 
North America
 
$
2,045.6

 
$
2,041.0

 
$
2,074.0

International and Other
 
11.5

 
(29.1
)
 
(98.1
)
Total segment income
 
2,057.1

 
2,011.9

 
1,975.9

Unallocated corporate expense (1)
 
504.3

 
497.4

 
497.4

Unallocated mark-to-market (gains) losses on commodity derivatives (2)
 
(35.3
)
 
163.2

 

Goodwill, indefinite and long-lived asset impairment charges
 
208.7

 
4.2

 
280.8

Costs associated with business realignment activities
 
69.4

 
107.6

 
121.0

Non-service related pension expense
 
35.0

 
27.2

 
18.1

Acquisition and integration costs
 
0.3

 
6.5

 
20.9

Operating profit
 
1,274.6

 
1,205.8

 
1,037.7

Interest expense, net
 
98.3

 
90.1

 
105.8

Other (income) expense, net
 
65.7

 
16.2

 
30.1

Income before income taxes
 
$
1,110.7

 
$
1,099.5

 
$
901.8

(1)
Includes centrally-managed (a) corporate functional costs relating to legal, treasury, finance and human resources, (b) expenses associated with the oversight and administration of our global operations, including warehousing, distribution and manufacturing, information systems and global shared services, (c) non-cash stock-based compensation expense and (d) other gains or losses that are not integral to segment performance.
(2)
Net (gains) losses on mark-to-market valuation of commodity derivative positions recognized in unallocated derivative (gains) losses. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

31



North America
The North America segment is responsible for our chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery market position, as well as our grocery and growing snacks market positions, in the United States and Canada. This includes developing and growing our business in chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery, pantry, food service and other snacking product lines. North America accounted for 88.1%, 87.8% and 87.6% of our net sales in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. North America results for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 were as follows:
 
 
 
 
Percent Change
For the years ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2017 vs 2016
 
2016 vs 2015
In millions of dollars
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales
 
$
6,621.2

 
$
6,533.0

 
$
6,468.1

 
1.3
%
 
1.0
 %
Segment income
 
2,045.6

 
2,041.0

 
2,074.0

 
0.2
%
 
(1.6
)%
Segment margin
 
30.9
%
 
31.2
%
 
32.1
%
 
 
 
 
2017 compared with 2016
Net sales of our North America segment increased $88.2 million or 1.3% in 2017 compared to 2016, driven by increased volume of 0.5% due to a longer Easter season, as well as 2017 innovation, specifically, Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch, and the launch of Hershey's Gold and Hershey's and Reese's Popped Snack Mix and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels. Additionally, the barkTHINS brand acquisition contributed 0.3%. Net price realization increased by 0.4% due to decreased levels of trade promotional spending. Excluding the favorable impact of foreign currency exchange rates of 0.1%, the net sales of our North America segment increased by approximately 1.2%.
Our North America segment income increased $4.6 million or 0.2% in 2017 compared to 2016, driven by higher gross profit, partially offset by investments in greater levels of advertising expense and go-to-market capabilities, as well as unfavorable manufacturing variances and higher freight and warehousing costs.
2016 compared with 2015
Net sales of our North America segment increased $64.9 million or 1.0% in 2016 compared to 2015, reflecting volume increases of 1.4% and the favorable net impact of acquisitions and divestitures of 0.7%, partially offset by unfavorable net price realization of 0.9% and an unfavorable impact from foreign currency exchange rates that reduced net sales by approximately 0.2%. Our 2016 North America performance was similar to the slower growth experienced by other CPG companies. Additionally, the U.S. CMG category and manufacturers were impacted by a shorter Easter season and merchandising and display strategies at select customers. The segment's volume increase was primarily attributable to new product introductions, partially offset by lower everyday product sales. The unfavorable net price realization resulted from increased levels of trade promotional spending necessary to support higher levels of in-store merchandising and display activity. Our Canada operations were impacted by the stronger U.S. dollar, which drove the unfavorable foreign currency impact.
Our North America segment income decreased $33.0 million or 1.6% in 2016 compared to 2015, driven by lower gross margin as higher trade promotional spending and higher supply chain costs were only partially offset by the benefit from supply chain productivity and cost savings initiatives.

32



International and Other
The International and Other segment includes all other countries where we currently manufacture, import, market, sell or distribute chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery and other products. Currently, this includes our operations in China and other Asia markets, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, along with exports to these regions. While a less significant component, this segment also includes our global retail operations, including Hershey’s Chocolate World stores in Hershey, Pennsylvania, New York City, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls (Ontario), Dubai and Singapore, as well as operations associated with licensing the use of certain trademarks and products to third parties around the world. International and Other accounted for 11.9%, 12.2% and 12.4% of our net sales in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. International and Other results for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 were as follows:
 
 
 
 
Percent Change
For the years ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2017 vs 2016
 
2016 vs 2015
In millions of dollars
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales
 
$
894.3

 
$
907.2

 
$
918.5

 
(1.4
)%
 
(1.2
)%
Segment income (loss)
 
11.5

 
(29.1
)
 
(98.1
)
 
NM

 
NM

Segment margin
 
1.3
%
 
(3.2
)%
 
(10.7
)%
 
 
 
 
2017 compared with 2016
Net sales of our International and Other segment decreased $12.9 million or 1.4% in 2017 compared to 2016, reflecting volume declines of 4.7%, partially offset by favorable price realization of 2.7% and a favorable impact from foreign currency exchange rates of 0.6%. Excluding the unfavorable impact of foreign currency exchange rates, the net sales of our International and Other segment decreased by approximately 2.0%.
The volume decrease is primarily attributed to our China business, driven by softness in the modern trade channel coupled with a focus on optimizing our product offerings. The favorable net price realization was driven by higher prices in select markets, as well as reduced levels of trade promotional spending, which declined significantly compared to the prior year. Constant currency net sales in Mexico and Brazil increased by 10.8% and 10.5%, respectively, driven by solid chocolate marketplace performance. India also experienced constant currency net sales growth of 13.8%.
Our International and Other segment generated income of $11.5 million in 2017 compared to a loss of $29.1 million in 2016 due to benefits from reduced trade promotional spending and lower operating expenses in China as a result of our Margin for Growth Program. Additionally, segment income benefited from the improved combined income in Latin America and export markets versus the prior year.
2016 compared with 2015
Net sales of our International and Other segment decreased $11.3 million or 1.2% in 2016 compared to 2015, reflecting an unfavorable impact from foreign currency exchange rates of 4.4%, volume declines of 3.7% and the unfavorable impact of net acquisitions and divestitures of 0.1%, substantially offset by favorable net price realization of 7.0%. Excluding the unfavorable impact of foreign currency exchange rates, the net sales of our International and Other segment increased by approximately 3.2%.
The favorable net price realization was driven by lower direct trade expense as well as lower returns, discounts and allowances in China, which declined significantly compared to the prior year. The volume decrease primarily related to lower sales in India due to the discontinuance of the edible oil business as well as lower sales in our global retail and licensing business, partially offset by net sales increases in Latin America and select export markets. Constant currency net sales in Mexico and Brazil increased on a combined basis by approximately 13%, driven by solid chocolate marketplace performance.
Our International and Other segment loss decreased $69.0 million in 2016 compared to 2015. Combined income in Latin America and export markets improved versus the prior year and performance in China benefited from lower direct trade and returns, discounts and allowances that were significantly lower than the prior year.

33



Unallocated Corporate Expense
Unallocated corporate expense includes centrally-managed (a) corporate functional costs relating to legal, treasury, finance and human resources, (b) expenses associated with the oversight and administration of our global operations, including warehousing, distribution and manufacturing, information systems and global shared services, (c) non-cash stock-based compensation expense and (d) other gains or losses that are not integral to segment performance.
Unallocated corporate expense totaled $504.3 million in 2017, as compared to $497.4 million in 2016. While we realized savings in 2017 from our productivity and cost savings initiatives, these savings were more than offset by higher costs related to the multi-year implementation of our enterprise resource planning system, as well as higher due diligence costs related to merger and acquisition activity. Unallocated corporate expense in 2016 was consistent with 2015 levels, as savings realized from our productivity and cost savings initiatives were offset by higher employee-related costs and an increase in corporate depreciation and amortization.
FINANCIAL CONDITION
We assess our liquidity in terms of our ability to generate cash to fund our operating, investing and financing activities. Significant factors affecting liquidity include cash flows generated from operating activities, capital expenditures, acquisitions, dividends, repurchases of outstanding shares, the adequacy of available commercial paper and bank lines of credit, and the ability to attract long-term capital with satisfactory terms. We generate substantial cash from operations and remain in a strong financial position, with sufficient liquidity available for capital reinvestment, payment of dividends and strategic acquisitions.
Cash Flow Summary
The following table is derived from our Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows:
In millions of dollars
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Net cash provided by (used in):
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating activities
 
$
1,249.5

 
$
1,013.4

 
$
1,256.3

Investing activities
 
(328.6
)
 
(595.4
)
 
(477.2
)
Financing activities
 
(843.8
)
 
(464.4
)
 
(797.0
)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents
 
6.1

 
(3.1
)
 
(10.4
)
Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
 
83.2

 
(49.5
)
 
(28.3
)
Operating activities
Our principal source of liquidity is cash flow from operations. Our net income and, consequently, our cash provided by operations are impacted by sales volume, seasonal sales patterns, timing of new product introductions, profit margins and price changes. Sales are typically higher during the third and fourth quarters of the year due to seasonal and holiday-related sales patterns. Generally, working capital needs peak during the summer months. We meet these needs primarily with cash on hand, bank borrowings or the issuance of commercial paper.
Cash provided by operating activities in 2017 increased $236.1 million relative to 2016. This increase was driven by the following factors:
Net income adjusted for non-cash charges to operations (including depreciation, amortization, stock-based compensation, deferred income taxes, goodwill, indefinite and long-lived asset charges, write-down of equity investments, the gain on settlement of the SGM liability and other charges) contributed $329 million of additional cash flow in 2017 relative to 2016.
Prepaid expenses and other current assets generated cash of $18 million in 2017, compared to a use of cash of $43 million in 2016. This $61 million fluctuation was mainly driven by the timing of payments on commodity futures. In addition, in 2017, the volume of commodity futures held, which require margin deposits, was lower compared to 2016. We utilize commodity futures contracts to economically manage the risk of future price fluctuations associated with our purchase of raw materials.

34



The increase in cash provided by operating activities was partially offset by the following net cash outflows:
Working capital (comprised of trade accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable and accrued liabilities) consumed cash of $131 million in 2017 and $28 million in 2016. This $103 million fluctuation was mainly due to a higher year-over-year build up of U.S. inventories to satisfy product requirements and maintain sufficient levels to accommodate customer requirements, coupled with a higher investment in inventory in Mexico and India, driven by volume growth in those markets.
The use of cash for income taxes increased $70 million, mainly due to the variance in actual tax expense for 2017 relative to the timing of quarterly estimated tax payments, which resulted in a higher prepaid tax position at the end of 2017 compared to 2016.
Cash provided by operating activities in 2016 decreased $242.9 million relative to 2015. This decrease was driven by the following factors:
Working capital (comprised of trade accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable and accrued liabilities) consumed cash of $28 million in 2016, while it generated cash of $37 million in 2015. This $65 million fluctuation was mainly driven by an $87 million payment to settle an interest rate swap in connection with the issuance of new debt in August 2016.
Prepaid expenses and other current assets consumed cash of $43 million in 2016, compared to cash generated of $118 million in 2015. This $161 million fluctuation was mainly driven by higher payments on commodity futures contracts in 2016 as the market price of cocoa declined, versus receipts in the 2015 period. We utilize commodity futures contracts to economically manage the risk of future price fluctuations associated with our purchase of raw materials.
Net income adjusted for non-cash charges to operations (including depreciation, amortization, stock-based compensation, deferred income taxes, goodwill, indefinite and long-lived asset charges, write-down of equity investments, the gain on settlement of the SGM liability and other charges) decreased cash flow by $37 million in 2016 relative to 2015.
Pension and Post-Retirement Activity. We recorded net periodic benefit costs of $59.7 million, $72.8 million and $66.8 million in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively, relating to our benefit plans (including our defined benefit and other post retirement plans). The main drivers of fluctuations in expense from year to year are assumptions in formulating our long-term estimates, including discount rates used to value plan obligations, expected returns on plan assets, the service and interest costs and the amortization of actuarial gains and losses.
The funded status of our qualified defined benefit pension plans is dependent upon many factors, including returns on invested assets, the level of market interest rates and the level of funding. We contribute cash to our plans at our discretion, subject to applicable regulations and minimum contribution requirements. Cash contributions to our pension and post retirement plans totaled $56.4 million, $41.7 million and $53.3 million in 2017, 2016 and 2015,
respectively.
Investing activities
Our principal uses of cash for investment purposes relate to purchases of property, plant and equipment and capitalized software, purchases of short-term investments and acquisitions of businesses, partially offset by proceeds from sales of property, plant and equipment and short-term investments. We used cash of $328.6 million for investing activities in 2017 compared to $595.4 million in 2016, with the decrease driven by less business acquisition activity in 2017 compared to 2016. We used cash of $477.2 million for investing activities in 2015, which was primarily driven by lower business acquisition investment and sales of short-term investments relative to 2017 and 2016.

35



Primary investing activities include the following:
Capital spending. Capital expenditures, including capitalized software, primarily to support capacity expansion, innovation and cost savings, were $257.7 million in 2017, $269.5 million in 2016 and $356.8 million in 2015. Our 2015 expenditures included approximately $80 million relating to the Malaysia plant construction. Capitalized software additions were primarily related to ongoing enhancements of our information systems. We expect 2018 capital expenditures, including capitalized software, to approximate $330 million to $350 million. The increase in our 2018 capital expenditures compared to 2017 and 2016 relates to increases in our U.S. core chocolate brand capacity, investing capabilities as part of our enterprise resource planning system implementation and incremental capital expenditures associated with our acquisition of Amplify.
Acquisitions and divestitures. We had no acquisition or divestiture activity in 2017. In 2016, we spent $285.4 million to acquire Ripple Brand Collective, LLC. In 2015, we spent $218.7 million to acquire Krave, partially offset by net cash received of $32 million from the sale of Mauna Loa.
Investments in partnerships qualifying for tax credits. We make investments in partnership entities that in turn make equity investments in projects eligible to receive federal historic and energy tax credits. We invested approximately $78.6 million in 2017, $44.3 million in 2016 and $30.7 million in 2015 in projects qualifying for tax credits.
Short-term investments. We had no short-term investment activity in 2017 or 2016. In 2015, we received proceeds of $95 million from the sale of short-term investments.
Financing activities
Our cash flow from financing activities generally relates to the use of cash for purchases of our Common Stock and payment of dividends, offset by net borrowing activity and proceeds from the exercise of stock options. We used cash of $843.8 million for financing activities in 2017 compared to $464.4 million in 2016. We used cash of $797.0 million for financing activities in 2015, primarily to fund dividend payments and share repurchases.
The majority of our financing activity was attributed to the following:
Short-term borrowings, net. In addition to utilizing cash on hand, we use short-term borrowings (commercial paper and bank borrowings) to fund seasonal working capital requirements and ongoing business needs. In 2017, we used $81.4 million to reduce commercial paper borrowings and short-term foreign borrowings. In 2016, we generated cash flow of $275.6 million through short-term commercial paper borrowings, partially offset by payments in short-term foreign borrowings. In 2015, we generated cash flow of $10.7 million as a result of higher borrowings at certain of our international businesses.
Long-term debt borrowings and repayments. In 2017, we had minimal incremental long-term borrowings and no repayment activity. In 2016, we used $500 million to repay long-term debt. Additionally, in 2016, we issued $500 million of 2.30% Notes due in 2026 and $300 million of 3.375% Notes due in 2046. In 2015, we used $355 million to repay long-term debt, including $100.2 million to repurchase $71.6 million of our long-term debt as part of a cash tender offer. Additionally, in 2015, we issued $300 million of 1.60% Notes due in 2018 and $300 million of 3.20% Notes due in 2025.
Share repurchases. We repurchase shares of Common Stock to offset the dilutive impact of treasury shares issued under our equity compensation plans. The value of these share repurchases in a given period varies based on the volume of stock options exercised and our market price. In addition, we periodically repurchase shares of Common Stock pursuant to Board-authorized programs intended to drive additional stockholder value. We used cash for total share repurchases of $300.3 million in 2017, which included a privately negotiated repurchase transaction with the Milton Hershey School Trust to purchase 1.5 million shares for $159.0 million. We used cash for total share repurchases of $592.6 million in 2016, which included purchases pursuant to authorized programs of $420.2 million to purchase 4.6 million shares in 2016. We used cash for total share repurchases of $582.5 million in 2015, which included purchases pursuant to authorized programs of $402.5 million to purchase 4.2 million shares. As of December 31, 2017, approximately $100 million remained available under the $500 million share repurchase authorization approved by the Board in January 2016. In October 2017, our Board of Directors

36



approved an additional $100 million share repurchase authorization, to commence after the existing 2016 authorization is completed.
Dividend payments. Total dividend payments to holders of our Common Stock and Class B Common Stock were $526.3 million in 2017, $499.5 million in 2016 and $476.1 million in 2015. Dividends per share of Common Stock increased 6.1% to $2.548 per share in 2017 compared to $2.402 per share in 2016, while dividends per share of Class B Common Stock increased 6.0% in 2017.
Proceeds from the exercise of stock options, including tax benefits. We received $63.3 million from employee exercises of stock options, net of employee taxes withheld from share-based awards in 2017, as compared to $94.8 million in 2016 and $55.7 million in 2015. Variances are driven primarily by the number of shares exercised and the share price at the date of grant.
Other. In February 2016, we used $35.8 million to purchase the remaining 20% of the outstanding shares of SGM. In September 2015, we acquired the remaining 49% interest in Hershey do Brasil Ltda. under a cooperative agreement with Bauducco for approximately $38.3 million. Additionally, in December 2015, we paid $10.0 million in contingent consideration to the shareholders of Krave.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
At December 31, 2017, our cash and cash equivalents totaled $380.2 million. At December 31, 2016, our cash and cash equivalents totaled $297.0 million. Our cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2017 increased $83.2 million compared to the 2016 year-end balance as a result of the sources of net cash outlined in the previous discussion.
Approximately 75% of the balance of our cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2017 was held by subsidiaries domiciled outside of the United States. The Company recognized the one-time U.S. repatriation tax due under U.S. tax reform and, as a result, repatriation of these amounts would not be subject to additional U.S. federal income tax but would be subject to applicable withholding taxes in the relevant jurisdiction. Our intent is to permanently reinvest these funds outside of the United States. The cash that our foreign subsidiaries hold for indefinite reinvestment is expected to be used to finance foreign operations and investments. We believe we have sufficient liquidity to satisfy our cash needs, including our cash needs in the United States.
We maintain debt levels we consider prudent based on our cash flow, interest coverage ratio and percentage of debt to capital. We use debt financing to lower our overall cost of capital which increases our return on stockholders’ equity. Our total debt was $2.9 billion at December 31, 2017 and $3.0 billion at December 31, 2016. Our total debt decreased slightly in 2017 as we reduced our commercial paper and short-term foreign borrowings.
As a source of short-term financing, we maintain a $1.0 billion unsecured revolving credit facility, with an option to increase borrowings by an additional $400 million with the consent of the lenders. As of December 31, 2017, the termination date of this agreement is November 2020. We may use these funds for general corporate purposes, including commercial paper backstop and business acquisitions. As of December 31, 2017, we had $551 million of available capacity under the agreement. The unsecured revolving credit agreement contains certain financial and other covenants, customary representations, warranties and events of default. We were in compliance with all covenants as of December 31, 2017.
In addition to the revolving credit facility, we maintain lines of credit in various currencies with domestic and international commercial banks. As of December 31, 2017, we had available capacity of $329 million under these lines of credit.
On January 8, 2018, we entered into an additional credit facility under which the Company may borrow up to $1.5 billion on an unsecured, revolving basis. Funds borrowed may be used for general corporate purposes, including commercial paper backstop and acquisitions. This facility is scheduled to expire on January 7, 2019.
Furthermore, we have a current shelf registration statement filed with the SEC that allows for the issuance of an indeterminate amount of debt securities. Proceeds from the debt issuances and any other offerings under the current registration statement may be used for general corporate requirements, including reducing existing borrowings, financing capital additions and funding contributions to our pension plans, future business acquisitions and working capital requirements.

37



Our ability to obtain debt financing at comparable risk-based interest rates is partly a function of our existing cash-flow-to-debt and debt-to-capitalization levels as well as our current credit standing.
We believe that our existing sources of liquidity are adequate to meet anticipated funding needs at comparable risk-based interest rates for the foreseeable future. Acquisition spending and/or share repurchases could potentially increase our debt. Operating cash flow and access to capital markets are expected to satisfy our various cash flow requirements, including acquisitions and capital expenditures.
Equity Structure
We have two classes of stock outstanding – Common Stock and Class B Stock. Holders of the Common Stock and the Class B Stock generally vote together without regard to class on matters submitted to stockholders, including the election of directors. Holders of the Common Stock have 1 vote per share. Holders of the Class B Stock have 10 votes per share. Holders of the Common Stock, voting separately as a class, are entitled to elect one-sixth of our Board. With respect to dividend rights, holders of the Common Stock are entitled to cash dividends 10% higher than those declared and paid on the Class B Stock.
Hershey Trust Company, as trustee for the trust established by Milton S. and Catherine S. Hershey that has as its sole beneficiary Milton Hershey School (such trust, the "Milton Hershey School Trust"), maintains voting control over The Hershey Company. In addition, a representative of Hershey Trust Company currently serves as a member of the Company's Board. In performing his responsibilities on the Company’s Board, this representative may from time to time exercise influence with regard to the ongoing business decisions of our Board or management. Hershey Trust Company, as trustee for the Milton Hershey School Trust, in its role as controlling stockholder of the Company, has indicated it intends to retain its controlling interest in The Hershey Company. The Company's Board, and not the Hershey Trust Company board, is solely responsible and accountable for the Company’s management and performance.
Pennsylvania law requires that the Office of Attorney General be provided advance notice of any transaction that would result in Hershey Trust Company, as trustee for the Milton Hershey School Trust, no longer having voting control of the Company. The law provides specific statutory authority for the Attorney General to intercede and petition the court having jurisdiction over Hershey Trust Company, as trustee for the Milton Hershey School Trust, to stop such a transaction if the Attorney General can prove that the transaction is unnecessary for the future economic viability of the Company and is inconsistent with investment and management considerations under fiduciary obligations. This legislation makes it more difficult for a third party to acquire a majority of our outstanding voting stock and thereby may delay or prevent a change in control of the Company.
Guarantees and Other Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements    
We do not have guarantees or other off-balance sheet financing arrangements, including variable interest entities, that we believe could have a material impact on our financial condition or liquidity.
Contractual Obligations
The following table summarizes our contractual obligations at December 31, 2017:
 
 
Payments due by Period
 
 
In millions of dollars
Contractual Obligations
 
Total
 
Less than 1 year
 
1-3 years
 
3-5 years
 
More than 5 years
Long-term notes (excluding capital leases obligations)
 
$
2,278.4

 
$
300.1

 
$
350.0

 
$
84.7

 
$
1,543.6

Interest expense (1)
 
725.3

 
78.4

 
148.9

 
107.2

 
390.8

Operating lease obligations (2)
 
254.3

 
16.2

 
31.5

 
24.2

 
182.4

Capital lease obligations (3)
 
193.5

 
3.4

 
7.0

 
7.8

 
175.3

Minimum pension plan funding obligations (4)
 
17.8

 
1.6

 
6.4

 
6.5

 
3.3

Unconditional purchase obligations (5)
 
1,646.6

 
1,359.7

 
283.7

 
3.2

 

Total obligations
 
$
5,115.9

 
$
1,759.4

 
$
827.5

 
$
233.6

 
$
2,295.4


38



(1) Includes the net interest payments on fixed rate debt associated with long-term notes.
(2) Includes the minimum rental commitments under non-cancelable operating leases primarily for offices, retail stores, warehouses and distribution facilities.
(3) Includes the minimum rental commitments (including interest expense) under non-cancelable capital leases primarily for offices and warehouse facilities.
(4) Represents future pension payments to comply with local funding requirements. Our policy is to fund domestic pension liabilities in accordance with the minimum and maximum limits imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), federal income tax laws and the funding requirements of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. We fund non-domestic pension liabilities in accordance with laws and regulations applicable to those plans. For more information, see Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
(5) Purchase obligations consist primarily of fixed commitments for the purchase of raw materials to be utilized in the normal course of business. Amounts presented included fixed price forward contracts and unpriced contracts that were valued using market prices as of December 31, 2017. The amounts presented in the table do not include items already recorded in accounts payable or accrued liabilities at year-end 2017, nor does the table reflect cash flows we are likely to incur based on our plans, but are not obligated to incur. Such amounts are part of normal operations and are reflected in historical operating cash flow trends. We do not believe such purchase obligations will adversely affect our liquidity position.
In entering into contractual obligations, we have assumed the risk that might arise from the possible inability of counterparties to meet the terms of their contracts. We mitigate this risk by performing financial assessments prior to contract execution, conducting periodic evaluations of counterparty performance and maintaining a diverse portfolio of qualified counterparties. Our risk is limited to replacing the contracts at prevailing market rates. We do not expect any significant losses resulting from counterparty defaults.
Asset Retirement Obligations
We have a number of facilities that contain varying amounts of asbestos in certain locations within the facilities. Our asbestos management program is compliant with current applicable regulations, which require that we handle or dispose of asbestos in a specified manner if such facilities undergo major renovations or are demolished. We do not have sufficient information to estimate the fair value of any asset retirement obligations related to these facilities. We cannot specify the settlement date or range of potential settlement dates and, therefore, sufficient information is not available to apply an expected present value technique. We expect to maintain the facilities with repairs and maintenance activities that would not involve or require the removal of significant quantities of asbestos.
Income Tax Obligations
Liabilities for unrecognized income tax benefits are excluded from the table above as we are unable to reasonably predict the ultimate amount or timing of a settlement of these potential liabilities. See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Information on recently adopted and issued accounting standards is included in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
The preparation of financial statements requires management to use judgment and make estimates and assumptions. We believe that our most critical accounting policies and estimates relate to the following:
l
Accrued Liabilities for Trade Promotion Activities
l
Pension and Other Post-Retirement Benefits Plans
l
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
l
Income Taxes
Management has discussed the development, selection and disclosure of critical accounting policies and estimates with the Audit Committee of our Board. While we base estimates and assumptions on our knowledge of current events and

39



actions we may undertake in the future, actual results may ultimately differ from these estimates and assumptions. Other significant accounting policies are outlined in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Accrued Liabilities for Trade Promotion Activities
We promote our products with advertising, trade promotions and consumer incentives. These programs include, but are not limited to, discounts, coupons, rebates, in-store display incentives and volume-based incentives. We expense advertising costs and other direct marketing expenses as incurred. We recognize the costs of trade promotion and consumer incentive activities as a reduction to net sales along with a corresponding accrued liability based on estimates at the time of revenue recognition. These estimates are based on our analysis of the programs offered, historical trends, expectations regarding customer and consumer participation, sales and payment trends and our experience with payment patterns associated with similar programs offered in the past.
Our trade promotional costs totaled $1,133.2 million, $1,157.4 million and $1,122.3 million in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The estimated costs of these programs are reasonably likely to change in the future due to changes in trends with regard to customer and consumer participation, particularly for new programs and for programs related to the introduction of new products. Differences between estimated expense and actual program performance are recognized as a change in estimate in a subsequent period and are normally not significant. Over the three-year period ended December 31, 2017, actual promotional costs have not deviated from the estimated amount for a given year by more than 3%.
Pension and Other Post-Retirement Benefits Plans
We sponsor various defined benefit pension plans. The primary plans are The Hershey Company Retirement Plan and The Hershey Company Retirement Plan for Hourly Employees, which are cash balance plans that provide pension benefits for most U.S. employees hired prior to January 1, 2007. We also sponsor two primary other post-employment benefit (“OPEB”) plans, consisting of a health care plan and life insurance plan for retirees. The health care plan is contributory, with participants’ contributions adjusted annually, and the life insurance plan is non-contributory.
For accounting purposes, the defined benefit pension and OPEB plans require assumptions to estimate the projected and accumulated benefit obligations, including the following variables: discount rate; expected salary increases; certain employee-related factors, such as turnover, retirement age and mortality; expected return on assets; and health care cost trend rates. These and other assumptions affect the annual expense and obligations recognized for the underlying plans. Our assumptions reflect our historical experiences and management's best judgment regarding future expectations. Our related accounting policies, accounting balances and plan assumptions are discussed in Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Pension Plans
Changes in certain assumptions could significantly affect pension expense and benefit obligations, particularly the estimated long-term rate of return on plan assets and the discount rates used to calculate such obligations:

Long-term rate of return on plan assets. The expected long-term rate of return is evaluated on an annual basis. We consider a number of factors when setting assumptions with respect to the long-term rate of return, including current and expected asset allocation and historical and expected returns on the plan asset categories. Actual asset allocations are regularly reviewed and periodically rebalanced to the targeted allocations when considered appropriate. Investment gains or losses represent the difference between the expected return estimated using the long-term rate of return and the actual return realized. For 2018, the expected return on plan assets assumption is 5.8%, which was the same percentage used during 2017. The historical average return (compounded annually) over the 20 years prior to December 31, 2017 was approximately 6.2%.

As of December 31, 2017, our primary plans had cumulative unrecognized investment and actuarial losses of approximately $345 million. We amortize the unrecognized net actuarial gains and losses in excess of the corridor amount, which is the greater of 10% of a respective plan’s projected benefit obligation or the fair market value of plan assets. These unrecognized net losses may increase future pension expense if not offset by (i) actual investment returns that exceed the expected long-term rate of investment returns, (ii) other factors, including reduced pension liabilities arising from higher discount rates used to calculate pension obligations or (iii) other

40



actuarial gains when actual plan experience is favorable as compared to the assumed experience. A 100 basis point decrease or increase in the long-term rate of return on pension assets would correspondingly increase or decrease annual net periodic pension benefit expense by approximately $10 million.

Discount rate. Prior to December 31, 2017, the service and interest cost components of net periodic benefit cost were determined utilizing a single weighted-average discount rate derived from the yield curve used to measure the plan obligations. Beginning in 2018, we have elected to utilize a full yield curve approach in the estimation of service and interest costs by applying the specific spot rates along that yield curve used in the determination of the benefit obligation to the relevant projected cash flows. We made this change to provide a more precise measurement of service and interest costs by improving the correlation between the projected cash flows to the corresponding spot rates along the yield curve. Compared to the method used in 2017, we expect this change to result in lower pension and other post-retirement benefit expense of approximately $6 million in 2018. This change will have no impact on pension and other post-retirement benefit liabilities and will be accounted for prospectively as a change in accounting estimate.

A 100 basis point decrease (increase) in the weighted-average pension discount rate would increase (decrease) annual net periodic pension benefit expense by approximately $4 million and the December 31, 2017 pension liability would increase by approximately $100 million or decrease by approximately $85 million, respectively.
Pension expense for defined benefit pension plans is expected to be approximately $13 million in 2018. Pension expense beyond 2018 will depend on future investment performance, our contributions to the pension trusts, changes in discount rates and various other factors related to the covered employees in the plans.
Other Post-Employment Benefit Plans
Changes in significant assumptions could affect consolidated expense and benefit obligations, particularly the discount rates used to calculate such obligations and the healthcare cost trend rate:
Discount rate. The determination of the discount rate used to calculate the benefit obligations of the OPEB plans is discussed in the pension plans section above. A 100 basis point decrease (increase) in the discount rate assumption for these plans would not be material to the OPEB plans' consolidated expense and the December 31, 2017 benefit liability would increase by approximately $26 million or decrease by approximately $22 million, respectively.
Healthcare cost trend rate. The healthcare cost trend rate is based on a combination of inputs including our recent claims history and insights from external advisers regarding recent developments in the healthcare marketplace, as well as projections of future trends in the marketplace. See Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for disclosure of the effects of a one percentage point change in the healthcare cost trend rate.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are not amortized, but are evaluated for impairment annually or more often if indicators of a potential impairment are present. Our annual impairment tests are conducted at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
We test goodwill for impairment by performing either a qualitative or quantitative assessment. If we choose to perform a qualitative assessment, we evaluate economic, industry and company-specific factors in assessing the fair value of the related reporting unit. If we determine that it is more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying value, a quantitative test is then performed. Otherwise, no further testing is required. For those reporting units tested using a quantitative approach, we compare the fair value of each reporting unit with the carrying amount of the reporting unit, including goodwill. If the estimated fair value of the reporting unit is less than the carrying amount of the reporting unit, impairment is indicated, requiring recognition of a goodwill impairment charge for the differential (up to the carrying value of goodwill). We test individual indefinite-lived intangible assets by comparing the estimated fair values with the book values of each asset.
We determine the fair value of our reporting units and indefinite-lived intangible assets using an income approach. Under the income approach, we calculate the fair value of our reporting units and indefinite-lived intangible assets based on the present value of estimated future cash flows. Considerable management judgment is necessary to

41



evaluate the impact of operating and macroeconomic changes and to estimate the future cash flows used to measure fair value. Our estimates of future cash flows consider past performance, current and anticipated market conditions and internal projections and operating plans which incorporate estimates for sales growth and profitability, and cash flows associated with taxes and capital spending. Additional assumptions include forecasted growth rates, estimated discount rates, which may be risk-adjusted for the operating market of the reporting unit, and estimated royalty rates that would be charged for comparable branded licenses. We believe such assumptions also reflect current and anticipated market conditions and are consistent with those that would be used by other marketplace participants for similar valuation purposes. Such assumptions are subject to change due to changing economic and competitive conditions.
We also have intangible assets, consisting primarily of certain trademarks, customer-related intangible assets and patents obtained through business acquisitions, that are expected to have determinable useful lives. The costs of finite-lived intangible assets are amortized to expense over their estimated lives. Our estimates of the useful lives of finite-lived intangible assets consider judgments regarding the future effects of obsolescence, demand, competition and other economic factors. We conduct impairment tests when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of these finite-lived assets may not be recoverable. Undiscounted cash flow analyses are used to determine if an impairment exists. If an impairment is determined to exist, the loss is calculated based on the estimated fair value of the assets.
At December 31, 2017, the net book value of our goodwill totaled $821.1 million and related to five reporting units. Based on our most recent quantitative testing, all of our reporting units had a percentage of excess fair value over carrying value of at least 100%. Therefore, as it relates to our 2017 annual testing performed at the beginning of the fourth quarter, we tested all five reporting units using a qualitative assessment and determined that no quantitative testing was deemed necessary. There were no other events or circumstances that would indicate that impairment may exist.
In February 2017, we commenced the Margin for Growth Program which includes an initiative to optimize the manufacturing operations supporting our China business.  We deemed this to be a triggering event requiring us to test our China long-lived asset group for impairment by first determining whether the carrying value of the asset group was recovered by our current estimates of future cash flows associated with the asset group. Because this assessment indicated that the carrying value was not recoverable, we calculated an impairment loss as the excess of the asset group's carrying value over its fair value. The resulting impairment loss was allocated to the asset group's long-lived assets. Therefore, as a result of this testing, during the first quarter of 2017, we recorded an impairment charge totaling $105.9 million representing the portion of the impairment loss that was allocated to the distributor relationship and trademark intangible assets that had been recognized in connection with the 2014 SGM acquisition.
In 2016, in connection with our annual impairment testing of indefinite lived intangible assets, we recognized a trademark impairment charge of $4.2 million, primarily resulting from plans to discontinue a brand sold in India.
In 2015, we recorded a $280.8 million impairment charge resulting from our interim reassessment of the valuation of the SGM business, coupled with the write-down of goodwill attributed to the China chocolate business in connection with the SGM acquisition. As a result of declining performance levels and our post-acquisition assessment, we determined that GAAP required an interim impairment test of the SGM reporting unit. We performed the first step of this test as of July 5, 2015 using an income approach based on our estimates of future performance scenarios for the business. The results of this test indicated that the fair value of the reporting unit was less than the carrying amount as of the measurement date, suggesting that a goodwill impairment was probable, which required us to perform a second step analysis to confirm that an impairment existed and to determine the amount of the impairment based on our reassessed value of the reporting unit. Although preliminary, as a result of this reassessment, in the second quarter of 2015 we recorded an estimated $249.8 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge, representing a write-down of all of the goodwill related to the SGM reporting unit as of July 5, 2015. During the third quarter, we increased the value of acquired goodwill by $16.6 million, with the corresponding offset principally represented by the establishment of additional opening balance sheet liabilities for additional commitments and contingencies that were identified through our post-acquisition assessment. We also finalized the impairment test of the goodwill relating to the SGM reporting unit, which resulted in a write-off of this additional goodwill in the third quarter, for a total impairment of $266.4 million. As of the date of our original impairment test, we also tested the other long-lived assets of SGM for recoverability by comparing the sum of the undiscounted cash flows to the carrying value of the asset group, and no impairment was indicated.

42



In connection with the 2014 SGM acquisition, we had assigned approximately $15 million of goodwill to our existing China chocolate business, as this reporting unit was expected to benefit from acquisition synergies relating to the sale of Golden Monkey-branded product through its Tier 1 and hypermarket distributor networks. As the net sales and earnings of our China business continued to be adversely impacted by macroeconomic challenges and changing consumer shopping behavior through the third quarter of 2015, we determined that an interim impairment test of the goodwill in this reporting unit was also required. We performed the first step of this test in the third quarter of 2015 using an income approach based on our estimates of future performance scenarios for the business. The results of this test suggested that a goodwill impairment was probable, and the conclusions of the second step analysis resulted in a write-down of $14.4 million, representing the full value of goodwill attributed to this reporting unit as of October 4, 2015. As of the date of our original impairment test, we also tested the other long-lived assets of the China asset group for recoverability by comparing the sum of the undiscounted cash flows to the carrying value of the asset group, and no impairment was indicated.
Income Taxes
We base our deferred income taxes, accrued income taxes and provision for income taxes upon income, statutory tax rates, the legal structure of our Company, interpretation of tax laws and tax planning opportunities available to us in the various jurisdictions in which we operate. We file income tax returns in the U.S. federal jurisdiction and various state and foreign jurisdictions. We are regularly audited by federal, state and foreign tax authorities, but a number of years may elapse before an uncertain tax position, for which we have unrecognized tax benefits, is audited and finally resolved. From time to time, these audits result in assessments of additional tax. We maintain reserves for such assessments.
We apply a more-likely-than-not threshold to the recognition and derecognition of uncertain tax positions. Accordingly, we recognize the amount of tax benefit that has a greater than 50% likelihood of being ultimately realized upon settlement. Future changes in judgments and estimates related to the expected ultimate resolution of uncertain tax positions will affect income in the quarter of such change. While it is often difficult to predict the final outcome or the timing of resolution of any particular uncertain tax position, we believe that our unrecognized tax benefits reflect the most likely outcome. Accrued interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits are included in income tax expense. We adjust these unrecognized tax benefits, as well as the related interest, in light of changing facts and circumstances, such as receiving audit assessments or clearing of an item for which a reserve has been established. Settlement of any particular position could require the use of cash. Favorable resolution would be recognized as a reduction to our effective income tax rate in the period of resolution.
We believe it is more likely than not that the results of future operations will generate sufficient taxable income to realize the deferred tax assets, net of valuation allowances. Our valuation allowances are primarily related to U.S. capital loss carryforwards and various foreign jurisdictions' net operating loss carryforwards and other deferred tax assets for which we do not expect to realize a benefit.  
Item 7A.
QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
We use certain derivative instruments to manage our interest rate, foreign currency exchange rate and commodity price risks. We monitor and manage these exposures as part of our overall risk management program.
We enter into interest rate swap agreements and foreign currency forward exchange contracts for periods consistent with related underlying exposures. We enter into commodities futures and options contracts and other derivative instruments for varying periods. These commodity derivative instruments are intended to be, and are effective as, economic hedges of market price risks associated with anticipated raw material purchases, energy requirements and transportation costs. We do not hold or issue derivative instruments for trading purposes and are not a party to any instruments with leverage or prepayment features.
In entering into these contracts, we have assumed the risk that might arise from the possible inability of counterparties to meet the terms of their contracts. We mitigate this risk by entering into exchange-traded contracts with collateral posting requirements and/or by performing financial assessments prior to contract execution, conducting periodic evaluations of counterparty performance and maintaining a diverse portfolio of qualified counterparties. We do not expect any significant losses from counterparty defaults.

43



Refer to Note 1 and Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of these derivative instruments and our hedging policies.
Interest Rate Risk
The total notional amount of interest rate swaps outstanding at December 31, 2017 and 2016 was $350 million. The notional amount relates to fixed-to-floating interest rate swaps which convert a comparable amount of fixed-rate debt to variable rate debt at December 31, 2017 and 2016. A hypothetical 100 basis point increase in interest rates applied to this now variable-rate debt as of December 31, 2017 would have increased interest expense by approximately $3.5 million and $3.6 million for the full year 2017 and 2016, respectively.
We consider our current risk related to market fluctuations in interest rates on our remaining debt portfolio, excluding fixed-rate debt converted to variable rates with fixed-to-floating instruments, to be minimal since this debt is largely long-term and fixed-rate in nature. Generally, the fair market value of fixed-rate debt will increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise. A 100 basis point increase in market interest rates would decrease the fair value of our fixed-rate long-term debt at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016 by approximately $134 million and $142 million, respectively. However, since we currently have no plans to repurchase our outstanding fixed-rate instruments before their maturities, the impact of market interest rate fluctuations on our long-term debt does not affect our results of operations or financial position.
In order to manage interest rate exposure, in previous years we utilized interest rate swap agreements to protect against unfavorable interest rate changes relating to forecasted debt transactions. These swaps, which were settled upon issuance of the related debt, were designated as cash flow hedges and the gains and losses that were deferred in other comprehensive income are being recognized as an adjustment to interest expense over the same period that the hedged interest payments affect earnings. During 2016, we had one interest rate swap agreement in a cash flow hedging relationship with a notional amount of $500 million, which was settled in connection with the issuance of debt in August 2016, resulting in a payment of approximately $87 million which is reflected as an operating cash flow within the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows.
Foreign Currency Exchange Rate Risk
We are exposed to currency fluctuations related to manufacturing or selling products in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. We may enter into foreign currency forward exchange contracts to reduce fluctuations in our long or short currency positions relating primarily to purchase commitments or forecasted purchases for equipment, raw materials and finished goods denominated in foreign currencies. We also may hedge payment of forecasted intercompany transactions with our subsidiaries outside of the United States. We generally hedge foreign currency price risks for periods from 3 to 12 months.
A summary of foreign currency forward exchange contracts and the corresponding amounts at contracted forward rates is as follows:
December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
Contract
Amount
 
Primary
Currencies
 
Contract
Amount
 
Primary
Currencies
In millions of dollars
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Foreign currency forward exchange contracts to purchase foreign currencies
 
$
19.5

 
Euros
 
$
9.4

 
Euros
Foreign currency forward exchange contracts to sell foreign currencies
 
$
158.2

 
Canadian dollars
Brazilian reals
Japanese yen
 
$
80.4

 
Canadian dollars
Brazilian reals
Japanese yen
The fair value of foreign currency forward exchange contracts represents the difference between the contracted and current market foreign currency exchange rates at the end of the period. We estimate the fair value of foreign currency forward exchange contracts on a quarterly basis by obtaining market quotes of spot and forward rates for contracts with similar terms, adjusted where necessary for maturity differences. At December 31, 2017 and 2016, the net fair value of these instruments was a liability of $1.0 million and an asset of $1.4 million, respectively. Assuming an

44



unfavorable 10% change in year-end foreign currency exchange rates, the fair value of these instruments would have declined by $19.7 million and $9.6 million, respectively.
Commodities—Price Risk Management and Futures Contracts
Our most significant raw material requirements include cocoa products, sugar, dairy products, peanuts and almonds. The cost of cocoa products and prices for related futures contracts and costs for certain other raw materials historically have been subject to wide fluctuations attributable to a variety of factors. These factors include:
l
Commodity market fluctuations;
l
Foreign currency exchange rates;
l
Imbalances between supply and demand;
l
The effect of weather on crop yield;