UPDATE 2-Hershey trims FY sales forecast on weak China sales, to cut 300 jobs

viernes 19 de junio de 2015 12:59 GYT

* Cuts FY sales growth forecast to 2.5-3.5 pct from 4.5-5.5 pct

* Cuts adj earnings/share forecast to $4.10-$4.18 from $4.30-$4.38

* Shares fall to 10-month low (Adds background, analyst comments; updates shares)

By Sruthi Ramakrishnan

June 19 (Reuters) - Chocolate maker Hershey Co trimmed its full-year revenue forecast for the third time, hurt by weak sales in China, and said it would cut 300 jobs by the end of the year under a new cost-cutting program.

The company's shares fell to a 10-month low of $89.71 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Sales in China halved in the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago and missed expectations in April and May, the company said.

Hershey's Kisses are more popular as gifts than as items of personal consumption in China, but slowing economic growth in the world's most populous country led consumers to cut back on spending even during the festive Chinese New Year period in February.

Hershey wants China to become its No.2 market by 2017 and anticipates sales of $450 million in the country this year, but analysts have warned that the company could struggle to meet the target.   Continuación...