Flowers Foods, Inc., which owns Mrs. Freshley’s, reported results for its 12 and 28 weeks ended July 14, 2012. Sales were $681,561,000 compared with $642,596,000 for the second quarter of 2011. Net income was $28,380,000, or $0.21 per share-diluted, compared with $28,210,000, or $0.21 per share-diluted, in last year’s second quarter.
Adjusted for one-time acquisition-related costs, earnings per share were $0.22 for the quarter compared to adjusted earnings per share of $0.23 reported for last year’s second quarter.
George E. Deese, Flowers Foods’ chairman and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement, “We are pleased to deliver sales growth in the second quarter in the face of heightened promotional activity and a highly competitive marketplace. Last year’s Tasty acquisition and the continued growth of our Nature’s Own and Tastykake brands drove our sales up 6.1 percent compared to last year. Even so, ongoing pressure on consumers has affected our industry much as it has other food categories, and softer volumes in the fresh breads, buns, and rolls category is driving more competitive activity in the near-term. Our team continues to work on improving efficiencies and cost controls in the face of high input cost inflation, and we achieved higher operating income in the quarter.
“The acquisition of Lepage Bakeries (completed July 21, 2012) brings us additional market presence in the Northeast, sales of about $170 million, and robust operating margins, which will strengthen our business. The opportunities presented by the Lepage acquisition, last year’s Tasty Baking acquisition, and further industry consolidation, strengthen my confidence in our team’s ability to achieve our long-term growth objectives for 5 percent to 10 percent annual sales growth, double-digit earnings growth, and reaching 75 percent of the U.S. population with our direct-store-delivery segment by 2016.”
For the 12-week second quarter of 2012, sales were $681.6 million, a 6.1 percent increase from the $642.6 million in last year’s second quarter. This increase was attributable to favorable net price/mix of 2.3 percent, contributions from the Tasty acquisition (acquired May 20, 2011) of 4.5 percent, partially offset by volume declines of 0.7 percent. Dollar sales increased across all channels, while volume decreases in the branded retail channel led to the overall volume decline.
Lower volume in the white bread and buns and rolls categories was the primary driver in the branded retail volume decline. These declines in branded retail were partially offset by increased volumes in branded soft variety.
Volume increases in the foodservice channel partially offset the decreased volume in branded retail. Net income for the quarter was $28.4 million compared to $28.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. For the quarter, diluted earnings per share were $0.21, flat as compared to $0.21 in last year’s second quarter.
During the second quarter this year, we incurred one-time acquisition-related costs of $1.4 million, net of tax, or $0.01 per diluted share and, in last year’s second quarter, we incurred one-time costs related to the Tasty acquisition of $3.2 million, net of tax, or $0.02 per diluted share.
Gross margin as a percentage of sales for the quarter was 46.3 percent, down 50 basis points from 46.8 percent in the second quarter of 2011. This decrease was due primarily to increased ingredient and packaging costs as a percent of sales. The increase in ingredient costs was primarily attributable to flour and sweeteners. The increase in ingredient and packaging costs was partially offset by price increases, lower energy costs as a percent of sales and improved manufacturing efficiencies.