McCormick income up 11% in 2008

by Staff
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SPARKS, MD. — Partly the result of acquisitions and pricing actions, income for McCormick & Co. was up 11% for the full-year 2008.

For the year ended Nov. 30, income was $255.8 million, equal to $1.98 per share on the common stock, which compared with $230.1 million, or $1.78 per share, during fiscal 2007.

Sales for the year were $3,176.6 million, up 9% from $2,916.2 million during the previous year.

"Our 2008 financial results demonstrate the resiliency of our business in a tough environment and the ability of our employees to adapt," said Alan D. Wilson, president and chief executive officer. "Despite the economic downturn, we grew sales of our consumer products 11%, driven in part by the acquisition of Lawry’s and Billy Bee honey products, increased marketing support, new products, improved merchandising and expanded distribution."

For the forth quarter ended Nov. 30, the company posted income of $82.5 million, or 63c per share, down 6% from $87.6 million, or 69c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $906.9 million, up 5% from $860.1 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

Looking forward to 2009, the company believes a favorable business mix and cost savings will help increase earnings per share to the range of $2.24 to $2.28. This is an increase of 7% to 9% from 2008 on a comparable basis.

"We will continue to face challenges in 2009," Mr. Wilson said. "However, the strength of our brands, momentum behind marketing and product innovation, improvements in our supply chain and a sound balance sheet give us confidence that McCormick is well-positioned for growth in 2009 and beyond."

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