SPARKS, Md. (PRNewswire) — McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE: MKC), a global leader in flavor, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended November 30, 2014and provided a 2015 financial outlook.
- In the fourth quarter of 2014, the company grew sales 2% in local currency. Including the impact of unfavorable foreign currency, sales rose slightly from the year-ago period. Earnings per share was $1.14, and excluding items affecting comparability, adjusted earnings per share was $1.16.
- For fiscal year 2014, the company grew sales 3% in local currency and earnings per share was$3.34. Adjusted earnings per share of $3.37 grew 8% from adjusted earnings per share of $3.13 in 2013. Cash flow from operations reached $504 million in 2014 and the company returned a record$437 million to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
- McCormick has significant cost reduction activity underway through its Comprehensive Continuous Improvement (CCI) program, as well as additional streamlining actions. In fiscal year 2015, cost savings are expected to reach at least $85 million, which is a 23% increase from 2014.
- In fiscal year 2015, McCormick expects to grow sales 4% to 6% in local currency. Earnings per share is projected to be in a $3.41 to $3.48 range, and adjusted earnings per share is expected to range from $3.51 to $3.58, which excludes the expected impact of special charges.
Fourth Quarter 2014 Results
The company grew fourth quarter sales 2% in local currency. Including the impact of foreign currency, sales rose slightly from the year-ago period. Consumer sales grew 3% in local currency, driven by pricing actions and higher volume and product mix. Sales growth in the Americas region and in China led this performance. During the fourth quarter, the company increased its brand marketing by $5 million to drive future sales growth for the consumer business. Due in part to this investment, as well as a less favorable mix of business, adjusted operating income for the consumer business declined 4% versus the year-ago quarter. Industrial business sales in local currency were slightly below the fourth quarter of 2013, with the impact of pricing actions largely offsetting lower volume and product mix. The decline in volume and product mix was mainly due to weak demand from quick service restaurants in China. While industrial business adjusted operating income rose 13% in fiscal year 2014 versus the year-ago period, for the fourth quarter of 2014 adjusted operating income declined 16% versus the year-ago period, due in part to an increase in material costs and higher incentive compensation expense.
Income from unconsolidated operations grew 37% led by a significant increase in sales and profit by McCormick's joint venture in Mexico. Earnings per share was $1.14 in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to$0.98 in the fourth quarter of 2013. On a comparable basis, adjusted earnings per share of $1.16 in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to $1.20 in the year-ago period. This decline was primarily due to lower adjusted operating income, offset in part by higher income from unconsolidated operations and lower shares outstanding.
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavor. With $4.2 billion in annual sales, the company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses. Every day, no matter where or what you eat, you can enjoy food flavored by McCormick. McCormick Brings Passion to Flavor™.
For more information, visit www.mccormickcorporation.com.