NEW YORK (AP) — Flowers Foods said Thursday that its profit rose by 67 percent in the fourth quarter, as the maker of Tastykakes and various breads benefited from acquisitions and the demise of rival Hostess Brands.
The company, based in Thomasville, Ga., said sales volume rose 10 percent for the October to December period. Its purchase of Lepage Bakeries, which makes Nature's Own bread, contributed to the quarter's sales. But the company also got a boost after Twinkies-maker Hostess said it was going out of business in November. Flowers Foods has since been selected by Hostess as the leading bidder for six major bread brands, including Wonder and Nature's Pride.
Flowers Foods' bid sets the floor for an auction process during which others will be able to make competing bids. A hearing for a final sale is scheduled for March 5.
For the three months ended Dec. 29, the company earned $38.6 million, or 28 cents per share. That's compared with $23 million, or 17 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
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