HUNT VALLEY, MD. – A strong first six months of fiscal 2021 has prompted McCormick & Co. Inc. to raise its guidance for the rest of the year. The company is primarily benefiting on three fronts — cooking at home, retailer inventory restocking and renewed strength in foodservice as restaurants around the world reopen.

Net income for the first half of fiscal 2021, ended May 31, totaled $345.5 million, equal to $1.29 per share on the common stock, and an increase over the same period of the previous year when McCormick & Co. earned $340.6 million, or $1.28 per share.

First-half sales were $3 billion, up robustly over the previous year when sales were $2.6 billion.

“With our first-half results and our robust operating momentum, we are increasing our 2021 outlook for sales, adjusted operating income and adjusted earnings per share,” said Lawrence E. Kurzius, chairman, president and chief executive officer, during a July 1 conference call to discuss financial results.

Management is now guiding that constant currency sales will rise 8% to 10% during fiscal 2021, up over the previous guidance of sales rising 6% to 8%. Fiscal 2020 sales were $5.6 billion.

Fiscal 2021 earnings per share are forecast to reach a range of $3 to $3.05 per share vs. the previously guided $2.97 to $3.02 per share.

While earnings slipped during the second quarter, sales rose for McCormick & Co. Second-quarter net income totaled $184 million, or 69¢ per share, down from $196 million, or 74¢ per share, the year prior. Mr. Kurzius said a higher tax rate impacted quarterly earnings.

Sales for the quarter reached $1.6 billion, up from $1.4 billion in 2020.

Mr. Kurzius attributed the sales increase to strong contributions from the recently acquired Cholula and Fona businesses as well as substantial growth from the Flavor Solutions business unit, which supplies flavors to foodservice operators and consumer packaged goods companies.

The company experienced a resetting of its US branded portfolio during the second quarter of fiscal 2021. Consumption the previous year, as indicated by IRI data and combined with unmeasured channels, showed an increase of 55%. Consumption declined 26% during the second quarter of fiscal 2021.

“Moving forward, we know we will be lapping challenging year-over-year consumption comparisons in the second half of the year, we are confident that we continue to capture the momentum in our Consumer segment, we have more consumers than pre-pandemic that come into our brands for having a good experience and are buying our products again,” Mr. Kurzius said.

Flavor Solutions sales on a constant currency basis rose 34% during the second quarter.

“In the Americas, our Fona and Cholula acquisitions made a strong contribution to our significant growth in the second quarter, and we are executing on our strategy to shift our portfolio to more value-added and technically insulated products,” Mr. Kurzius said. “We continue to see strong growth in our consumer packaged food customers while executing on our portfolio migration through new products and base business strength.”

He added that sales of snack seasonings, spicy flavors and flavors for hard seltzer beverages underpinned the Flavor Solutions sales growth.

McCormick & Co. also is expanding capacity and building additional resiliency into its supply chain.

“For example, we are increasing our condiment and seasoning capacity,” Mr. Kurzius said. “We plan to optimize our distribution network for their new Northeast US distribution center, our largest in the world, and we are in the final stages of building a new UK Flavor Solutions manufacturing facility, which is on track to become the first net zero carbon building. These investments will enable us to remain agile and scalable and deliver the future growth that we expect.”