McCormick spice sales are hot in Mexico, Europe

January 10, 1992|By Kim Clark

Booming sales of mayonnaise in Mexico helped fuel McCormick & Co. Inc. to record spice sales and profits for 1991.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer James A. Hooker said yesterday that while sales of spices in the United States were good, international gains drove most of the company's approximately 17 percent profit growth for the quarter and year.

U.S. sales benefited because McCormick spices won shelf space in 700 new stores.

But international sales, including those in Australia and Europe, showed the most strength, he said.

Sales of jars of sauces have done particularly well in England, he said.

"And Mexico continues to be really surprising. . . . They use mayonnaise like we use butter, I guess. We can't make enough," he said.

McCormick doesn't sell liquid sauces or mayonnaise in the United States, but it has large shares of those markets abroad.

Income per share rose slightly faster than net income because the company has been buying back its own shares for more than a year. The company has said it would split its stock 2-for-1 next week.

McCormick said its earnings rose nearly 18 percent, to $30 million, or 73 cents a share, for the three months that ended Nov. 30, compared with income of $25.5 million, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased nearly 8 percent.

For its full fiscal year, McCormick saw its profits rise nearly 17 percent, to nearly $81 million from $69.4 million in 1990.

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