US packaged bakery foods maker Flowers Foods has reported a second-quarter net profit, compared to a year-ago loss, and said its sales growth was driven by its Nature's Own breads.

The company posted net income of US$15.0m, or 33 cents per share, for the second quarter to 17 July, compared to a loss of $9.3m, or 20 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2003.

Sales for the second quarter increased 7.0% to $360.7m, compared to $337.2m for last year's second quarter. Volume accounted for 4.2% of the sales increase as the company boosted its presence in existing markets and expanded its geographical coverage with new direct-store-delivery routes. Pricing made up 2.3% of the sales increase.

"Our sales growth, in both established and new territories, is possible because of our execution in the marketplace, the strength of our brands, and the quality of our products. Nature's Own breads continue to drive our sales growth as consumers seek foods with health-related attributes," said president and chief executive George E Deese.

During the quarter, the company announced the pending acquisition from Sara Lee Bakery Group of a closed bakery in Houston as well as a customer list. Deese said he expects the acquisition will add approximately $40m in annual sales. The company's new bakery in Denton, Texas started production of buns and rolls during the quarter and will produce much of the additional volume associated with the customer list acquired from Sara Lee.