Flowers Foods has reported sales of US$438.2m for its 12-week fourth quarter period, 2006, a 10.5% increase over the $396.5m reported for the fourth quarter last year, buoyed by Bakeries Group and Flowers Specialty volume increases.

Net income and income from continuing operations of $15.8m were reported, an increase of 35% compared to the $11.7m reported for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. Net income and income from continuing operations per diluted share of $0.26 were reported, an increase of 36.8% compared to $0.19 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005.

Sales for fiscal 2006 increased 10.1% to $1.889bn, while net income for fiscal 2006 increased 32.4% to $81m, or $1.31 per diluted share.

"Flowers Foods delivered record results for the fourth quarter and the full year, even as we faced higher input costs and continued to invest in our operations," said George Deese, chairman, CEO, and president. "Our earnings performance is evidence that our business model is sound. Our brands are strong, our bakeries efficient, and our direct-store-delivery network is providing extraordinary service. We remain focused on creating value for our shareholders as we continue to execute our strategies. As 2007 unfolds, we expect another year of solid performance, as indicated by the updated earnings guidance we are providing this morning."

The company has also updated guidance for fiscal 2007, with sales expected to be $1.983bn to $2.040bn for the year, an increase of 5% to 8%. The company anticipates net income from continuing operations of 4.0% to 4.4% of sales, or $81m to $87m, compared to $74.9m in fiscal 2006.

During the fourth quarter, the company received insurance proceeds relating to Hurricane Katrina of $0.8m, or $.01 per share, which was reported as a gain on insurance recovery.