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Cost cuts boost McCormick’s 3Q profit by 36%

Spice and specialty foods retailer McCormick & Co. said Thursday its third-quarter profit rose 36 percent as cost cutting helped offset nearly flat sales.

Its earnings beat Wall Street estimates and its forecast for the year topped what analysts expected. Its shares closed up 94 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $42.04 in New York Stock Exchange trading.

The company said recent product introductions, such as its Recipe Inspirations spice in the U.S. and Perfect Shake in the U.K. have helped results.

Also, the company is in the middle of a cost-cutting program, which is now expected to save more than $45 million in 2010.

McCormick said its net income rose to $102.4 million, or 76 per share, in the three months ended Aug. 31 from $75.1 million, or 57 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding a benefit from the reversal of a tax accrual, it earned 66 cents per share.

Revenue edged up to $794.6 million from $791.7 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected earnings of 59 cents per share on higher revenue of $809 million. Analysts typically exclude one-time items from their estimates.

McCormick said it expects net income in 2010 of $2.57 to $2.61 per share, excluding one-time items. Analysts expect $2.53 per share.