US spice maker McCormick has posted a slight rise in quarterly profit due to higher profit margins and an absence of special charges that hurt earnings in the year-ago period.

Maryland-based McCormick, said profit for the first quarter to 28 February climbed to US$35.1m, from $33.8m a year earlier.

The company’s sales rose 7% to $555m. McCormick said foreign exchange accounted for 4% of the increase.

Looking ahead, McCormick said it expects full-year sales to rise at the top end of its growth range of 3-7% and earnings per share to rise 9-11%, reported Reuters.