In the fourth quarter of 2015, the company grew sales 8% in constant currency. Including the impact of unfavourable foreign currency, sales rose 2% from the year-ago period. Earnings per share was $1.16.
Flavours company McCormick has reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended November 30, 2015 and provided a 2016 financial outlook.In the fourth quarter of 2015, the company grew sales 8% in constant currency. Including the impact of unfavourable foreign currency, sales rose 2% from the year-ago period. Earnings per share was $1.16, and excluding special charges, adjusted earnings per share was $1.18.For fiscal year 2015, the company grew sales 6% in constant currency and earnings per share was $3.11. Excluding special charges, adjusted earnings per share rose to $3.48 from adjusted earnings per share of$3.37 in 2014. Cash flow from operations grew 17% to a record $590 million in 2015 and the company returned $351 million to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.In fiscal year 2016, McCormick expects to grow sales 4% to 6% in constant currency. Including the impact of unfavourable foreign currency, sales are expected to grow 0% to 2%. Excluding the impact of unfavourable foreign currency, as well as special charges, adjusted earnings per share is expected to grow 9% to 11% from adjusted earnings per share of $3.48 in 2015."Our 2015 results demonstrated the effectiveness of our strategies and the engagement and efforts of McCormick employees around the world,” said Alan D. Wilson, Chairman and CEO. “McCormick's products are on-trend with today's consumer and their increased interest in bolder flavours, focus on wellness and fresh ingredients, and demand for convenience.”"In fiscal year 2015, we grew sales 6% in constant currency through product innovation, brand building, expanded distribution and three strategic acquisitions. Since 2009, we have been fueling our growth with cost savings from our CCI program and, in 2015, we delivered a record $98 million of cost savings from CCI and our organization and streamlining actions. The performance of our joint venture in Mexico was particularly strong this year, driving a 25% increase in income from unconsolidated operations. We reported 2015 earnings per share of $3.11. We grew adjusted earnings per share 3% to $3.48 from $3.37 in 2014, overcoming significant profit headwinds, including material cost inflation and currency. Led by an improvement in working capital, our cash flow from operations reached $590 million, a strong increase from $504 million in 2014.”"We are proud of our performance this year and have good momentum heading into 2016. As I transition into the role of Executive Chairman, I look forward to continuing the work to drive success and build value for McCormick shareholders.""Our fourth quarter was a strong finish to 2015,” said Lawrence E. Kurzius, President and COO. “We grew sales 8% in constant currency with the benefit of our acquisitions and a 5% increase in the base business, led by higher volumes. The increase in our consumer segment was 6% in constant currency with particularly strong growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In our U.S. consumer business, actions underway for the past two years drove improved performance. In the fourth quarter of 2015, we reached two years of category share gains for our recipe mixes, and achieved solid sales growth of McCormick brand spices and seasonings, backed by a 4% increase in retail sales of these products. We grew industrial segment constant currency sales at a double-digit rate in each of