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FLOWERS ACHIEVES RECORD FIRST QUARTER SALES; RAISES DIVIDEND FOR 57TH CONSECUTIVE QUARTER

 THOMASVILLE, Ga., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Flowers Industries, Inc. (NYSE: FLO) achieved record sales for the first quarter of fiscal 1994, but higher costs and a retroactive tax adjustment squeezed margins.
 Amos R. McMullian, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, made the announcement at the regular quarterly meeting of Flowers' board of directors.
 Sales for the first quarter of fiscal 1994, which ended on Sept. 25, were $217,359,000, an increase of 3 percent over the $210,684,000 reported for the first quarter of fiscal 1993. Pre-tax income was $8,898,000, a decline of 14 percent from the $10,393,000 reported a year ago. Net income after tax was $4,667,000, a decline of 28 percent from the $6,444,000 reported last year.


Net income per share was $.13, a decline of 28 percent from the $.18 reported during the same quarter in fiscal 1993.
 At the quarterly meeting, Flowers' board of directors voted to increase the quarterly dividend to $.1925 per share from $.19 paid last quarter. This dividend increase represents the 57th consecutive quarterly increase for the company and is payable on Nov. 19 to shareholders of record on Nov. 5. The new annual rate of $.77 represents a 6 percent increase over the $.73 annual rate in effect a year ago.
 In his comments on the first quarter, McMullian noted that the results were in line with what the company expected. "There were several major forces that affected the company's margins during the quarter," he said. "We had higher manufacturing and distribution costs, primarily in the area of wages, fringe benefits, and ingredients. Our net profit during the quarter also was affected by President Clinton's retroactive tax increase in both deferred and current tax accounts. As a result of this one-time adjustment, our tax rate increased from 38 percent in fiscal 1993 to 48 percent for this year's first quarter."
 McMullian noted that Flowers Industries experienced both revenue and volume growth during the quarter. "We believe that the ensuing quarters will show positive comparisons with their fiscal 1993 counterparts," he said. "Flowers is growing and we are in the midst of a major two-year capital expenditure program to increase automation and frozen capacity. We are optimistic about the remainder of fiscal 1994," he added. "The course we have charted is the right one to bring strong growth to Flowers Industries over the next several years."
 Flowers Industries, Inc. produces and markets a variety of specialty branded food products.
 FLOWERS INDUSTRIES, INC.
 OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS
 1st QUARTER FY 1994
 (000s OMITTED)
 For the 12 weeks ended 9/25/93 9/19/92 Pct. chg.
 Net sales $ 217,359 $ 210,684 3.2
 Pre-tax income $ 8,898 $ 10,393 (14.4)
 Income tax $ (4,231)(a) $ (3,949) 7.1
 Net income $ 4,667 $ 6,444 (27.6)
 Net income per share:
 Primary $ 0.13 $ 0.18 (27.8)
 Fully diluted $ 0.13 $ 0.18 (27.8)
 Average shares outstanding:
 Primary 37,251,960 35,716,692 4.3
 Fully diluted 37,256,704 37,957,866 (1.8)
 (a) Provision for income tax consists of the following:
 Tax on current year income $ 3,337
 Retroactive tax adjustment
 Current 282
 Deferred 612
 Total $ 4,231
 CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
 1st QUARTER FY 1994
 (000s OMITTED)
 9/25/93 9/19/92
 ASSETS
 Current assets $ 153,282 $ 144,394
 Property, plant and equipment 301,346 277,751
 Other assets and deferred
 charges 41,159 35,070
 Cost in excess of net tangible
 assets 7,389 5,323
 Total assets $ 503,176 $ 462,538
 LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
 Current liabilities $ 103,532 $ 95,433
 Long-term notes payable 53,450 37,761
 Contingent liabilities 6,543 1,367
 Industrial revenue bonds 13,128 15,293
 Deferred income taxes 33,545 30,870
 Other deferred items 14,903 16,666
 Common stockholders' equity 278,075 265,148
 Total liabilities and
 stockholders' equity $ 503,176 $ 462,538
 -0- 10/22/93
 /CONTACT: C.M. Wood III, senior vice president and chief financial officer, or Mary Krier, manager of communications, Flowers Industries, 912-226-9110/
 (FLO)


CO: Flowers Industries, Inc. ST: Georgia IN: FOD SU: ERN DIV

RA-BN -- AT005 -- 5633 10/22/93 10:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 22, 1993
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