Double-digit gains were posted in the former Communist nations with Orbit clocking in as the No. 1 of Wrigley's brands there, followed by the "notable contributions" of Eclipse and Juicy Fruit, the company reported on Monday.
Double-digit sales gains also were registered in Poland and Spain on the strength of Orbit and in Germany, where Extra attained "outstanding growth."
Wrigley attributed a worldwide shipment growth of 8% to its record-setting pace, which posted a 14% gain versus sales in the year-ago period.
President/CEO Bill Perez said the company's strong first-half performance "puts us in an excellent position to make the necessary investments in second-half product and marketing initiatives to keep our business growing."
About one-third of the quarterly gain, Wrigley said, was due to a weaker U.S. dollar in international sales, and the rest came from higher product prices in Europe and the U.S.
There was more good news from overseas. Double-digit sales growth in China was attributed to Doublemint, Extra and TaTa bubble gum brands. Extra is the No. 2 gum brand in China, officials said--just behind Doublemint.
Back on North American shores, net sales were $452 million--up 3% on a 1% volume decline, reflecting higher pricing. Growth by Orbit, the No. 1 gum in the U.S., and by Eclipse--in new packaging--as well as gains for Lifesavers, were offset by softer performances for Extra and the sugar stick brands in the quarter.
Continued strong growth for Altoids chocolate-dipped mints were offset by lower sales for other Altoids formats.
Shipments of Wrigley's new brand--5--that began later in the quarter, provided a modest boost to sales, but the impact of the launch is expected to be more pronounced in the second half of the year. With distribution growing at a record pace, brand advertising for 5 is scheduled to begin in August, the company said.