UPDATE 1-McCormick: Looking at acquisitions in Asia and Europe

jueves 19 de febrero de 2009 00:06 CET

* Sees long-term EPS growth of 9-11 percent

* See long-term sales growth of 4-6 percent

* Sees 2009 EPS $2.23 to $2.27, including charges

* Reiterates 2009 sales growth of 2-4 percent

* Looking at acquisitions in India, China, Eastern Europe

BANGALORE, Feb 18 (Reuters) - McCormick & Co Inc (MKC.N: Cotización), which sells spices, seasonings and food coloring, said it was looking at India, China and Eastern Europe for acquisitions to grow its business.

"In the past five years, acquisitions have accounted for a quarter of the average annual sales growth," Chief Executive Alan Wilson said at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton, Florida.

Analyst Kenneth Goldman at J.P. Morgan Securities said he was surprised by the company's acquisition plans considering Lawry's was recently added.

Goldman Sachs, however, said in a research note that McCormick "deserves the benefit of the doubt because of its historical success with M&A, and we assume that any acquisitions will be small and accretive".   Continuación...