McCormick & Co., the Sparks, Md.-based spice manufacturer, said yesterday that its earnings declined in the second quarter, due to the effect of one-time charges.

For the quarter ended May 31, McCormick earned $5.8 million (8 cents a share), down 64 percent from earnings of $16.1 million (22 cents) in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales in the period rose 8 percent, to $468.2 million from $435.5 million.

Before one-time charges from the consolidation in its European manufacturing operations, the company said, its earnings per share in the first quarter actually rose 27 percent, to 28 cents a share.

In the first half, the spicemaker reported a profit of $24.0 million (33 cents), compared with net income of $32.3 million (44 cents) in the first half of last year. Sales in the first two quarters rose 7 percent, to $909.7 million.

Shares of McCormick rose 31 1/4 cents yesterday to close at $30.25 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Heilig-Meyers Co. in Richmond, the nation's largest retailer of bedding and furniture, yesterday signed an agreement to sell its Rhodes furniture division to a group of current managers and institutional investors in a deal valued at $110 million. Under the terms of the deal, Heilig-Meyers will receive $60 million in cash, a $40 million note and an option to acquire a 10 percent equity interest in the new company. Atlanta-based Rhodes operates 93 stores under its own name.

Heilig-Meyers, which operates more than 1,200 stores in 38 states under the brand names of Heilig-Meyers, Mattress Discounters, the RoomStore, Rhodes and Berrios, reported an earnings loss of $70 million for the first quarter, compared with $10.1 million in earnings (17 cents a share) in the year-ago quarter. First-quarter revenue rose 3 percent, to $689.2 million, compared with $668.9 million for the same quarter last year.

Heilig-Meyers attributed the first-quarter loss to a $114 million pretax write-down associated with the Rhodes transaction. Before the write-off, the company would have posted $9 million in earnings (15 cents) for the first quarter.

Heilig-Meyers's stock price rose 43 3/4 cents yesterday to $7.93 3/4 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Richfood Holdings Inc., the Richmond-based supermarket holding company and grocery wholesaler, said yesterday that its earnings for the fourth quarter and year rose sharply as its retail business expanded.

For the 16 weeks that ended May 1, Richfood earned $25.2 million (53 cents a share), more than triple its earnings for the corresponding quarter a year ago. In the fourth quarter of the previous year, Richfood earned $7.6 million (16 cents) after a one-time charge of $14.5 million related to the closing of a distribution facility in Pennsylvania.

Sales in the fourth quarter rose 2.1 percent, to $1.21 billion.

For the fiscal year, Richfood earned $73 million ($1.53), a 34 percent increase over earnings of $54.7 million ($1.15) in the previous year. Sales for the year rose 24 percent, to $3.97 billion, from $3.2 billion, mainly due to the company's acquisition of two retail grocery chains -- Shoppers Food Warehouse and Farm Fresh.

Last week, the company agreed to be purchased by Supervalu Inc. for $883 million. Shares in Richfood rose 6 1/4 cents yesterday to close at $17.81 1/4 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.