US baker Flowers Foods saw its earnings and sales climb in the first half, boosted by gains from recent acquisitions.

In the six months ended 13 July, earnings soared to US$159.7m from $66.3m a year earlier. EBIT reached $226m versus $106.6m in the year ago period.

In October last year, the company acquired the licence to the Earthgrains and Sara Lee brands in California from Grupo Bimbo. Flowers also purchased Lepage Bakeries in May last year and most of Hostess Brands’ bread business in July.

CEO Allen Shiver said: “Similar to the results reported last quarter, sales were up across all channels and earnings were strong. Margins improved due to higher volume and capacity utilization. It is gratifying that our long-term investments in our bakeries, distribution systems, and our team positioned us to take advantage of growth opportunities available in the marketplace.”

Sales in the period reached $1.06bn from $844.6m a year earlier.

For 2013, the company said it expects sales of $3.79bn to $3.82bn, an increase of 24.5% to 25.5% over 2012. The Lepage and Sara Lee/California acquisitions are likely to contribute around 7% of the sales increase. Excluding acquisition-related costs, EPS is forecast to be $0.92-0.98.

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