McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE: MKC) yesterday reported a 15% increase in sales and a 9% increase in earnings per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2001. Sales for the quarter were $571 million, an increase of 15% versus the third quarter of 2000. Excluding foreign exchange and the Ducros business, sales increased 4%. Gross profit margin for the quarter was 40.1%, 5.2 percentage points above last year. This increase resulted from a shift in product mix to higher margin, more value-added products, including the acquired Ducros business, as well as cost reductions. Operating income increased 10% to $56 million.