US spice maker McCormick & Co has reported higher quarterly profit, helped by increased sales due to recent acquisitions.

The company posted net income of US$84.4m for the fourth quarter to 30 November, compared with $77.2m a year earlier. Fourth-quarter net sales increased to $698.6m, from $625.0m a year earlier.

For the full fiscal year to 30 November 2003, McCormick posted net income of $210.8m, compared to $179.8m in the previous year. Sales rose to $2.27bn from $2.04bn a year earlier.

The company said sales benefited from the acquisition of the Zatarain’s and Uniqsauces businesses, which accounted for 5% of the increase. Favourable foreign exchange rates added 4%, and higher sales, particularly in the US consumer business, contributed an additional 2% to sales.