Strong Q4 drives McCormick full-year results

by Eric Schroeder
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SPARKS, MD. — Strong fourth-quarter results helped propel higher earnings and sales at McCormick & Co. in fiscal 2009. For the fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, McCormick posted net income of $116,400,000, equal to 89c per share on the common stock, up from $82,500,000, or 63c per share, in the same period last year. For the full year, net income rose 17% to $299,800,000, or $2.29 per share, up from $255,800,000, or $1.98 per share.

Net sales for the year rose narrowly to $3,192,100,000 from $3,176,600,000, while sales in the fourth quarter advanced 2% to $924,500,000.

“Our fourth-quarter results were a strong finish to a successful year at McCormick,” said Alan D. Wilson, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Profit results for the fiscal year were driven by a 5% increase in sales, when measured in local currency, and substantial margin improvement. Acquisitions are an integral part of our growth strategy and in 2009, much of our sales growth and margin improvement were led by Lawry’s, which we acquired in July 2008. In addition, we achieved C.C.I.-led cost reductions of $42 million, which provided the fuel for a 15% increase in marketing programs to support our leading brands.”

Operating income in McCormick’s consumer business rose 27% to $385,600,000 in fiscal 2009, while sales in the division rose 3% to $1,911,200,000.

Operating income in the company’s industrial business rose 13% to $81,300,000, while sales fell 3% to $1,280,900,000.

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