Emerson Electric Co. achieved record sales, earnings and earnings per share for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2000.

The company cited several key events during the year as reasons for the increase, most notably is its relationship with Home Depot, which capitalizes on Emerson's Ridgid-brand line of professional tools.

Appliance and tools segment sales rose 7 percent, driven by very strong underlying growth in the tools operations. Tools sales through the rapidly growing home centers channel increased more than 35 percent in 2000, and now account for 25 percent of total tool sales.

Underlying appliance-related sales were relatively flat for the year, due in part to distribution issues faced by some key customers, according to the company.