THOMASVILLE, Ga., March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- At an event hosted for financial analysts last week and webcast live over the Internet, executives of Flowers Foods (FLO) announced several new long-term goals while highlighting the company's growth opportunities, which will be driven by integration of recent acquisitions, market expansion, new products, and future acquisitions. The event was held at the New York Stock Exchange.
"The Flowers Foods story continues to be dynamic. The past 18 months brought strong growth opportunities for Flowers, and our results show we were well-positioned to take advantage of those opportunities," said Allen L. Shiver, president and CEO. "Our commitment over decades to investing in our bakeries, improving efficiencies, building strong brands, and delivering quality products and the best customer service continues to help us grow our business and build value for shareholders over the long-term."
Shiver continued: "We're pleased to report that as we look ahead, we see significant potential for Flowers Foods as new brands, products, and customers drive growth in our core market in the South. In new territories outside of the South, Nature's Own, Wonder, Tastykake and our other brands are performing well, and we're growing with new retail and foodservice customers and through new product introductions."
During its presentation, the company renewed its commitment for long-term annual sales growth of 5%-10%, EBITDA margins of 11%-13%, and double-digit earnings per share growth. Steve Kinsey, executive vice president and CFO, said margin improvement is anticipated as short-term operating issues are resolved, carrying costs for idle bakeries reduced, and as sales growth is achieved.
Shiver outlined growth initiatives, saying, "As we look to the future, our team sees opportunity to expand our market share and our direct-store-delivery (DSD) territory while continuing to grow through acquisitions. Therefore, we are moving the target for our DSD segment to have access to at least 90% of the U.S. population by 2018. We also are announcing two new targets – achieving a 20 share of bread, buns, and rolls and a 12 share in snack cake in the IRi U.S. market. In addition, we see potential growth opportunities in channels not captured by IRi as well as in other areas of our business."
Bradley K. Alexander, president of Flowers Bakeries/DSD Segment, provided an update on the Wonder, Home Pride, Merita, and Butternut bread brands, 20 idled bakeries, and 36 depots that Flowers acquired in July 2013 from Old HB, Inc. (former Hostess Brands). "Last fall, we began rolling out the acquired brands in our DSD territory where those brands had been sold previously. As expected, the acquired brands are driving incremental sales growth."
Alexander noted that in spring 2014, Flowers will open the Knoxville, Tenn. bakery to help support capacity needs in that region, and over the next two years, expects to open 2 to 3 additional bakeries. In November 2013, Flowers opened the Henderson, Nev. bakery, the first of the former Hostess facilities to open as a Flowers subsidiary.
Alexander discussed how Flowers' strong brands help position the company for accelerated growth. "Brands such as Nature's Own, Wonder, and Tastykake are well established and deliver consistent quality and great taste. Nature's Own – America's top-selling bread brand – topped $1 billion in annual retail sales in 2013, achieving a 17% increase over 2012," he said.
Also participating in the presentation were Joe G. Tashie, president of Flowers Cake/Warehouse Segment, and Robert B. Hysell, president of Flowers Foodservice/Warehouse Segment. Members of the company's senior and operations management also participated in the day's events.
Shiver closed the meeting by reiterating his confidence in the Flowers team. "We have strong brands, great products, and a seasoned team—all factors that give me confidence in Flowers' ability to meet or exceed our goals, and confidence that we will continue to deliver value to our shareholders, our customers, and our consumers over the long term," he said.
The archived presentation can be accessed on the company's Web site www.flowersfoods.com.
Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO) is one of the largest producers of fresh packaged bakery foods in the United States with 2013 sales of $3.75 billion. Flowers operates bakeries across the country that produce a wide range of bakery products. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own and Tastykake. Learn more at www.flowersfoods.com.
Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to current expectations regarding our future financial condition, performance and results of operations, planned capital expenditures, long-term objectives of management, supply and demand, pricing trends and market forces, and integration plans and expected benefits of transactions and are often identified by the use of words and phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would," "is likely to," "is expected to" or "will continue," or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those projected. Other factors that may cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements contained in this release and that may affect the company's prospects in general include, but are not limited to, (a) competitive conditions in the baked foods industry, including promotional and price competition, (b) changes in consumer demand for our products, including changes in consumer behavior, trends and preferences, including health and whole grain trends, and the movement toward more inexpensive store-branded products, (c) the success of productivity improvements and new product introductions, (d) a significant reduction in business with any of our major customers including a reduction from adverse developments in any of our customer's business, (e) fluctuations in commodity pricing, (f) our ability to fully integrate recent acquisitions into our business, (g) our ability to achieve cash flow from capital expenditures and acquisitions and the availability of new acquisitions that build shareholder value; (h) consolidation within the baking industry and related industries; and (i) the failure of our information technology systems to perform adequately, including any interruptions, intrusions or security breaches of such systems. The foregoing list of important factors does not include all such factors, nor necessarily present them in order of importance. In addition, you should consult other disclosures made by the company, including the risk factors included in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and disclosures made in other filings with the SEC and company press releases, for other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected by the company. We caution you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as they speak only as of the date made and are inherently uncertain. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise or update such statements, except as required by law.
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