Flowers Foods Hosts Analysts Event At New York Stock Exchange
by PR Newswire
NEW YORK, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At an event hosted for financial analysts today and webcast live over the Internet, executives of Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO) commented on the company's bid to acquire Hostess bread brands and bakeries. Executives also provided an overview of the company's growth objectives and operational strategies and discussed year-to-date sales and earnings. The meeting was held at the New York Stock Exchange.
Regarding Flowers' pending acquisition of Hostess' Wonder, Nature's Pride, Merita, Home Pride, and Butternut bread brands as well as 20 bakeries and 38 depots, George E. Deese, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, said, "The Hostess assets would fit well with our long-term growth strategy. We are pleased with the outcome of the bankruptcy court review in which the court approved the sale this week, subject to the finalizing of the sales order, which we expect to occur shortly. However, this process is not over. Now, the transaction must continue through the regulatory process. We anticipate completing the transaction in the second half of the year. Because the transaction is not finalized and for competitive reasons, we will not share any specific plans regarding the pending acquisition.
"This is an amazing time for Flowers Foods. Our long-term commitment to investing in bakeries, constantly improving efficiencies, delivering quality and the best customer service, and building strong brands is paying good dividends for us. Flowers Foods' year-to-date sales are up 20% to 25% and our earnings outlook is strong," Deese said. "We are adding new customers and locations, and we believe we are maximizing the opportunities available to us. Recent acquisitions like Lepage Bakeries in the Northeast and the Sara Lee brand of fresh bread, buns, and rolls in California have helped us extend our geographic reach. 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."
Allen L. Shiver, president of Flowers Foods, discussed from an operations and sales standpoint how the company is well-positioned for accelerated growth. "Our strategy is proven. Our brands, such as Nature's Own and Tastykake, are well established and deliver consistent quality and great taste. Flowers' bakeries are among the most efficient in the country. Our distribution networks for DSD ("direct-store-delivery") and our warehouse segments are effective in delivering the products our customers need. And we believe the Flowers team is simply the best in the industry," said Shiver.
Bradley K. Alexander, president of Flowers Bakeries, provided an update of the company's recent Lepage Bakeries integration, as well as an overview of Flowers' roll out of Sara Lee fresh breads, buns, and rolls in California following the completion of the acquisition from BBU, Inc.
In his comments, R. Steve Kinsey, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said, "We are very optimistic about our fiscal 2013 outlook. We are seeing strong sales and earnings trends, and we expect to deliver a strong first quarter. However, due to the pending Hostess transaction, we are limited in regard to the information we can provide on the full year."
Deese closed the meeting by reiterating his confidence in the Flowers team. "While the marketplace dynamics and competitive landscape continue to evolve, I am more confident than ever in Flowers Foods' ability to execute our strategies and continue to deliver value to our shareholders, our customers, and our consumers," he said.
Flowers Foods broadcast the event live over the Internet. The archived presentation can be accessed on the company's Web site www.flowersfoods.com.
Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE: FLO) is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers in the United States with 2012 sales of $3.05 billion. Flowers operates 44 bakeries 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. All forward-looking statements in this press release, including, but not limited to statements regarding the timing of the transactions and required approvals, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, the expected impact of the acquisition on the future earnings of Flowers, anticipated benefits of the acquisition and expected business opportunities that may be available, and the manner in which Flowers intends to finance the acquisition, 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) risks relating to (1) the court-approved bankruptcy process and the ability of the parties to obtain necessary regulatory approvals, satisfy all applicable conditions and consummate the acquisition, (2) the ability of Flowers to integrate the acquired assets into it existing business and operate the combined business effectively and (3) the ability of Flowers to achieve the anticipated sales and earnings for 2013, (b) competitive conditions in the baked foods industry, including promotional and price competition, (c) changes in consumer demand for our products, (d) the success of productivity improvements and new product introductions, (e) a significant reduction in business with any of our major customers including a reduction from adverse developments in any of our customer's business, (f) fluctuations in commodity pricing, (g) our ability to fully integrate recent acquisitions into our business, and (h) our ability to achieve cash flow from capital expenditures and acquisitions and the availability of new acquisitions that build shareholder value. In addition, our results may also be affected by general factors such as economic and business conditions (including the baked foods markets), interest and inflation rates and such other factors as are described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Flowers Foods, Inc.