SPARKS, MD. — Pricing actions taken early in 2008, as well as cost savings from restructuring and supply chain initiatives, helped McCormick & Company, Inc., advance with strong first-quarter results. The company posted net income of $51,423,000 for the quarter ended Feb. 29, equal to 40c per share on the common stock, up 16% from $44,228,000, or 34c per share, during the same quarter of 2007.

Net sales were $723,950,000, up 11% from $652,639,000 during the first quarter of the previous year. The company attributed the increase to higher pricing and volume, plus favorable foreign exchange rates.

"We are off to a good start in fiscal year 2008 with a strong first quarter," said Alan D. Wilson, president and chief executive officer. "Each segment and region of the business grew sales during this period."

Strong first-quarter results, coupled with the addition of Billy Bee Honey Products and prospects for continued growth during the next three quarters, prompted McCormick to raise the company’s sales growth outlook to 5% to 7% from 4% to 6%, excluding sales related to the pending acquisition of the Lawry’s business.