Hershey Co. said late Tuesday it plans to lay off 15% of its global workforce, primarily hourly workers outside the U.S., to implement a program that calls for growing its core candy business and expanding its snacks offerings. The multiyear program is designed to improve profit margins through "supply chain optimization, a streamlined operating model and reduced administrative expenses, with savings primarily being achieved in 2018 and 2019," Hershey said in a statement. The plan will result in pre-tax charges between $375 million and $425 million, including one-time layoff costs between $80 million and $100 million. Cash savings are expected to reach an annual run-rate of between $150 million to $175 million by year-end 2019, the company said. The candy maker is scheduled to hold an investor conference Wednesday in New York. Shares of Hershey ended the regular session up 0.5%.
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