McCormick & Co., a Maryland producer of seasonings and specialty food products, yesterday reported a 72 per cent increase in profits for the three months ended Feb. 28, the first quarter of its new fiscal year.

Profits totaled $2.6 million (49 cents a share) compared with $1.5 million (29 cents) for the same period a year ago; sales rose 18 per cent to $75 million.

Chairman Harry K. Wells said the "dramatic increase" in profitability reflected gains in all divisions but particularly from domestic retail sales, the food service/industrial sector and a Mexican affiliate.

Wells also revealed that directors are expected to approve an effective 12.5 per cent increase in the quarterly dividend rate on Wednesday, if stockholders approve a 2-for-1 split at the annual meeting. He said the board plans to establish a payout of 9 cents a share compared with 16 cents currently paid on stock prior to the proposed split.

LogEtronics, Inc., a Springfield manufacturer of graphic arts products, reported a sharp increase in profits for 1976. Earnings totaled $396,000 (40 cents a share) on sales of $13.5 million last year compared with profits of $181,000 (8 cents) and sales of $11.9 million in 1975.

Aspen Systems Corp., a specialty publishers based in Germantown, reported record sales and profits during 1976. Earnings totaled $246,237 (10 cents a share) compared with $135,000 (7 cents) in 1975, as sales rose 46 per cent to $5.8 million. American Can Co. owns 65 per cent of the local firm.

Kay Corp., parent company of the Kay Jewelry Stores, reported 1976 profits from continuing operations of $4 million (67 cents a share) compared with $2.2 million (32 cents) in 1975, as sales increased to $374 million from $222 million. Kay recently announced plans to sell its 50 per cent interest in Metal Traders, Inc., for $4.4 million; an after-tax gain of $870,000 from the sale will be reflected in first-quarter 1977 results.

Preston Trucking Co., of Preston, Md., reported 1976 profits of $7.6 million ($2.42 a share) compared with $6.4 million ($2.04) in 1975. Revenues rose 19 per cent to $110 million.