Flowers Foods Hosts Analyst Meeting; Announces new products, new bakery, stock repurchases.
Amos R. McMullian, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, said the meeting was held in San Antonio because the company's business here reflects Flowers Foods' successful growth strategy. "Nine years ago, we made acquisitions in this market. We then invested in a highly efficient bakery and consolidated production, introduced our Nature's Own and other brands, and implemented our operating strategies. The result is that the San Antonio bakery is among our most efficient and Flowers holds a strong position in the South Texas marketplace. San Antonio is just one example of how our growth strategy helped us to successfully expand and consistently build shareholder value over time."
At today's meeting, management said it will launch a new line of Hispanic snack cakes in late October under the Mi Casa and Tesoritos brands. In development for more than a year, the new line includes 13 individual snack items. "Our aim is to offer products that appeal to all consumer segments. With the Hispanic population growing faster than any other segment, we are pleased to offer products specifically suited to their preferences," commented George E. Deese, president and chief operating officer.
Deese said, in addition, Flowers will extend its Nature's Own variety bread line with a Honey 7 Grain loaf in early October and will introduce Nature's Own Healthline as an umbrella for its Sugar-Free, Wheat 'n Fiber, and Light products, which address specific dietary concerns.
The company announced it has purchased property in Denton, Texas and plans to renovate the existing facility for a bakery that will produce fresh baked foods primarily for the Dallas-Ft. Worth market. Renovation will begin on the facility next month and the bakery will begin production in the fall of 2004. The company expects to spend approximately $18 million on the Denton facility in 2004.
"Today, Flowers Foods is strong both operationally and financially. We intend to preserve the strength of our balance sheet while investing our cash flow to enhance near- and long-term shareholder value. We plan to continue paying dividends and effecting share repurchases out of our free cash flow. We are pleased that circumstances have enabled us to begin execution of our stock repurchase plan, which we believe delivers direct benefits to all our shareholders. We also continue to make investments that will preserve our position as one of the most efficient bakers in the nation, growing by acquisition and through internal development," McMullian said.
Participating in today's presentation in San Antonio were McMullian, Deese, Jimmy Woodward, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Gene D. Lord, president and chief operating officer of Flowers Foods Bakeries Group, and Allen S. Shiver, president and chief operating officer of Flowers Foods Specialty Group. Following the presentation, analysts visited the company's San Antonio bakery.
Flowers Foods plans to announce third quarter earnings on November 6, 2003. A conference call and webcast will be held in conjunction with the earnings announcement.
Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods is one of the nation's leading producers and marketers of packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers. Flowers operates 33 bakeries that produce a wide range of baked foods marketed throughout the Sun Belt states via an extensive direct-store-delivery network and nationwide through other delivery systems. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own, Cobblestone Mill, Mrs. Freshley's, BlueBird, and European Bakers. For more information on the company, visit http://www.flowersfoods.com/ .
Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. 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, (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 and (f) 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.
CONTACT: Mary Krier, Director of Corporate Communications of Flowers Foods, +1-229-227-2333
Web site: http://www.flowersfoods.com/