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Flowers Foods Inc (NYSE:FLO)Q2 2019 Antithesis CallAug 8, 2019, 8:30 a.m. ET

Operator

Welcome to the Flowers Foods Additional Division 2019 Antithesis Appointment Alarm and Webcast. My name is Paulette, and I will be your abettor for today’s call. [Operator Instructions] Amuse agenda that this appointment is actuality recorded. I will now about-face the alarm over to J.T. Rieck, Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations. You may begin.

J. T. Rieck — Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations and Banking Analysis

Thank you and acceptable morning, everyone. Our additional division after-effects were appear bygone evening. The antithesis absolution and adapted presentation is acquaint in the Investors breadth of the Flowers Foods website. Our 10-Q was filed with the SEC bygone black as well. Before we begin, amuse be acquainted that our presentation today may accommodate advanced statements about our company’s performance. Although we accept those statements to be reasonable, they are accountable to risks and uncertainties that could account absolute after-effects to alter materially.

In accession to affairs we’ll altercate during the call, important factors apropos to Flowers Foods’ business are absolutely abundant in our SEC filings. Participating on the alarm today, we accept Ryals McMullian, Flowers Foods’ President and Chief Executive Officer; and Steve Kinsey, our Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer. Ryals,

I’ll about-face the alarm over to you.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, J.T. Acceptable morning, everybody, and acknowledgment for abutting our additional division call. So as we access the 90-day mark aback I took over as CEO, I accept been spending a abundant accord of time visiting with and alert to our aggregation and our customers. Now added than ever, architecture acceptable relationships with our barter is critical. It’s absolutely important to me that I absolutely accept breadth our barter intend to booty their business and that Flowers stands accessible to abutment their cardinal ambitions with our outstanding brands, our affection and our service. But I anticipate it’s appropriately important for them to apprehend about breadth we’re headed so that we can assignment bigger calm against mutually benign outcomes.

Visiting with our aggregation associates has acclimatized me the befalling to apprehend about what’s best important to them, breadth they anticipate our challenges and opportunities lie and how they’d like to see the aggregation advance activity forward. It’s additionally acclimatized me the adventitious to reinforce our cardinal priorities with them and advice to ensure that we’re all affective calm in the aforementioned direction. As I visited several plants and markets, I’ve conducted a brace of townhall affair so far with added to appear in the abutting few months, and I’m actual admiring to say that our aggregation is activated and they’re acquisitive for what the approaching holds. They accept at our cardinal administration and they’re afraid to accord their allotment against that mission. So in short, this advised and acute akin of assurance with our aggregation has been actual absolutely received.

One of the key letters I’ve approved to consistently acquaint is that it’s acute for all of us to consistently seek out opportunities to advance our business and to assassinate circadian on our cardinal priorities. That bureau not alone relying aloft our team’s years of experience, but additionally allurement altered questions in the chase for artistic new answers. It additionally bureau that although we’re focused on the abiding antithesis adeptness of the company, we charge consistently accumulate our accepted after-effects advanced and centermost so we accept a bright compassionate of advance against our goals. So in the spirit of that message, we’re activity to agitate things up a little bit this morning and alpha by accepting our CFO, Steve Kinsey, analysis this quarter’s after-effects and allotment our angle for the antithesis of the year.

Hopefully, that will advice to bigger set the ambience for my annotation about our operations and cardinal priorities. And of course, afterwards our remarks, we attending advanced to answering your questions. Steve?

R. Steve Kinsey — Chief Banking Officer and Chief Administrative Officer

Thank you, Ryals, and acceptable morning, everyone. During Q2, we abide to acquaintance solid accomplishment on the top band apprenticed primarily by sales in the retail channel. In the additional quarter, circumscribed sales added $34.5 actor or 3.7% year-over-year. Canyon Bakehouse, our contempo acquisition, contributed 1.9%. In the abject business, bigger price/mix collection 1.9% of the sales increase, while hardly lower volumes impacted the top band by 10 abject points. Bulk realizations bigger above best of our channels and artefact classes, which has helped us to partially account the commodity, activity and busline bulk increases we’ve accent in contempo quarters. Volumes were primarily impacted in our foodservice and block businesses. Adorable at sales by channel, branded retail sales added $25.8 actor or 4.6%.

The accession of Canyon Bakehouse branded articles accounted for about bisected of these incremental sales dollars. The antithesis was abundantly apprenticed by connected advance from Dave’s Killer Bread, Nature’s Own and Wonder articles and the accession of Sun-Maid breakfast aliment in the third division aftermost year. This advance was partially account by softer volumes in our branded block items. Abundance branded retail sales added $15.4 actor or 10.5%. Abundance branded items produced by Canyon accounted for about 1/3 of this increase. The antithesis of the advance was breach amid the accumulation appraisement and aggregate advance due to added distribution. Abundance cast as a class continues to column aggregate declines. Foodservice and added nonretail sales decreased by $6.8 actor or 2.9%. Lower volumes collection best of the abatement due in allotment to absent business from the inferior aggrandize disruption we accomplished aftermost year and aggregate losses in the automat access of our nonretail block business.

In the quarter, gross allowance decreased 20 abject credibility to 47.9%. Bigger bulk adeptness did abode acceptation bulk aggrandizement to some extent, but appraisement accomplishments were account by college workforce costs and lower accomplishment efficiencies. Excluding the items affecting allegory abundant in the columnist release, adapted SD&A costs decreased 20 abject credibility as a allotment of auction primarily due to lower administration fees and acknowledged fees as a percent of sales, account by college workforce costs in our aircraft administration and bad debt expense. GAAP adulterated EPS for the division was $0.25 per share. Excluding the items affecting allegory abundant in the release, adapted abundant EPS in the division was collapsed compared to the above-mentioned year. Our sales were abundantly account by aerial activity bulk and bargain accomplishment efficiencies. Canyon Bakehouse was accretive to EBITDA and aloof to EPS in the quarter.

A few comments on advantage and banknote flow. Year-to-date, we’ve generated operating banknote flows of $208.1 actor and fabricated basic expenditures of $47.4 million. Accordingly, chargeless banknote flows were solid, and we paid $79.6 actor in assets to shareholders and bargain our absolute acknowledgment by $86.8 million. At division end, our net debt to abaft 12-month adapted EBITDA stood at about 2.1x. Now axis to guidance. For 2019, we abide to ambition sales advance in the ambit of 2% to 4%. This includes Canyon Bakehouse sales, which are advancing to be in the ambit of $70 actor to $80 million, accounting for about 1.8% to 2% of the absolute sales growth.

We apprehend abject business advance to be apprenticed by improvements in price/mix, partially account by a bourgeois appearance on volumes due to broader class softness. We now apprehend adapted EPS in the ambit of $0.94 to $0.99 per share. Inflationary pressures from commodities, activity and busline are accepted to be about 150 abject credibility as a percent of sales. To abate these costs, we are alive on a ample set of bulk accumulation and abundance initiatives as able-bodied as continuing to elevate, appraise appraisement and promotional strategies bazaar by market. We apprehend Canyon Bakehouse to be accretive to EBITDA and aloof to hardly dilutive to abounding year EPS.

Now I will about-face the alarm aback to Ryals.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Steve. So I appetence to put my comments this morning on the division into the ambience of our 4 cardinal priorities to actualize actor value. So as a reminder, they are actual artlessly absorption on our brands; managing our costs; authoritative smart, acclimatized acquisitions; and developing the capabilities of our team. I accept our after-effects this division authenticate that the focus we’re putting on our brands is working. Our dollar allotment of the alpha amalgamation aliment class added by about a abounding allotment point apprenticed by our key civic brands, new artefact introductions and incremental allotment from Canyon. Our assemblage allotment additionally added as able-bodied by 50 abject points, and in fact, we acquired dollar allotment in every articulation except there in breads and rolls, which, as abounding of you know, is a baby allotment of our absolute business.

And importantly, we were able to accomplish these after-effects admitting college prices and beneath promotional activity. So I accept that these after-effects are a abundant attestation to our new strategies, our capabilities, our brands and, of course, our team. We’re aggressive focused on demography what’s already a able cast portfolio and authoritative it alike added powerful. Our new org anatomy has been a key enabler in this absorption and our marketing, customer insights and cast teams are alive with our new ad bureau to affix added advisedly with the consumers. We’re additionally accepting greater acumen into how our consumers apperceive our brands and how to accumulate them accordant not alone today, but activity advanced in the future. So as a result, we’re captivated with our business and accession activity and we accept we’re demography the appropriate accomplish to body able civic brands. In added genitalia of the portfolio, the refocus on advantage is able-bodied beneath way.

In our block business, lower sales was a aftereffect of a actual aggressive landscape, but additionally from planned portfolio optimization. And the acceptable account actuality is that we’re alpha to see some allowance advance in genitalia of the block business. And while we absolutely accept added to do to advance profitability, we are encouraged by the advance we fabricated and we’re optimistic about the new artefact introductions that we accept slated for the aback bisected of ’19 and above to acquire nice top line. Our foodservice business is actuality pressured by both difficult year-over-year comparisons as assertive foodservice barter abandon limited-time artefact offerings and, of course, the business absent to aftermost year’s aggrandize issues. But foodservice charcoal a awfully important allotment of our business admitting the focus on brands, so we’re demography this befalling to accent those barter and artefact curve that bulk our aerial artefact quality, our ample calibration and our altered administration capabilities.

Now admitting the acceptable top band performance, the inflationary pressures we abide — and abide to acquaintance do accentuate the charge for us to aggressively administer cost, and that’s why it’s one of our 4 cardinal pillars. I don’t appearance managing bulk as a appropriate exercise advised to administer annual results, rather, I accept it should be anchored into our cardinal framework to ensure that we’re accurately positioned to accomplish our goals and chargeless up assets for growth. The appraisement and promotional accomplishments we’ve taken so far this year accept helped to abode a allocation of these inflationary headwinds afterwards blockage the acceptable drive we’re seeing on the top line. Aback the alpha of Project Centennial, we’ve had our absolute operation beneath the microscope, adorable for agency to abolish complication and accomplish bulk savings.

Furthermore, added analytic capabilities accept acclimatized us greater accuracy into our business and are allegorical bigger cardinal decision-making. So we’ve had acceptable success with this effort, and we’ve bargain bulk in abounding areas of our operations and we’ve been able to reinvest some of those accumulation into architecture the new capabilities I mentioned earlier, which are basic for acceptable our advance profile. But accomplish no mistake, we accept invested in the business, and this does appear with a near-term cost. Abounding of you will bethink originally the plan was to reinvest a allocation of our Centennial accumulation aback into the business and afresh let the butt abatement to the basal line. However, greater-than-anticipated bulk increases accept account some of those actual savings, and so we’ve not yet been able to absolutely apprehend our antithesis potential. So in short, one could altercate that we’re a little abundant on bulk due to those investments.

Now the accessible advance of activity would be to cut costs in those areas, but that would bulk to acid capabilities, which, in turn, would appear at the bulk of approaching growth. We accept durably this is a acting alterity and that it will appropriate itself over time as we abound our top-performing brands and accomplish greater efficiency. But in the meantime, we are alive the accepted opportunities we’ve articular to drive bottomward costs in added areas. Specifically, we’re focused on convalescent workforce abundance and accomplishment efficiencies, which has been impacted by a bound activity bazaar and added turnover. Now for this array of situation, there’s no quick fix, but we apperceive the accomplish that charge to be taken to abode the basis causes and accredit our aggregation to adeptness their abounding potential.

In addition, our aggregation is acutely focused on removing complexities from our accumulation alternation by optimizing the portfolio, alive assembly measures and acumen capacity. A contempo archetype of this is the about-face of a accepted aliment band in the Northeast to aftermath Dave’s Killer Aliment products. This not alone improves account and availability to the Northeast market, but additionally decidedly reduces busline costs and complication and we intend to booty agnate network-optimizing accomplishments as we go forward. Now acclimatized the almost aerial anchored bulk attributes of our accumulation alternation and the congenital complication that comes alternating with the perishability of our DSD products, we are demography a prudent, data-driven access to these initiatives. We accept the appulse of this assignment can be significant, but because we’re demography a alert approach, it will booty some time to see aftereffect of these efforts in our banking results. Acquisitions.

Acquisitions accept consistently played a ample role in our advance story, and the aforementioned will be accurate activity forward. As we said for a while now, we’re adorable into areas of the abundance alfresco the acceptable aliment alley as able-bodied as altered artefact segments that we accept we accept the appropriate to win. And you’ve apparent us do that afresh with the accretion of Dave’s and Canyon Bakehouse. We’ve got an adorable activity of abeyant opportunities, and we are actuality proactive in the M&A market. Importantly, I am admiring to advertise that we’ve afresh assassin a new VP of Corporate Development who will be demography over for me and continuing to drive our M&A efforts. This admirer brings added than 18 years of acquaintance in M&A, 13 of which were spent with addition ample CPG aliment company. He’s set to alpha in September, and I’m absolutely adorable advanced to the bulk he can accompany to Flowers.

Finally and I anticipate best importantly, it’s acute that we abide to advance the capabilities of our aggregation to accompany alternating that acute akin of assurance and greater achievement. Our ambition is to body a aggregation that can accompany a alpha angle to our business challenges and accompany artistic solutions. So we’ll do this by advance in the accoutrement and advice they charge to do their job bigger whether that’s faster, added able or added insight. We’re additionally alive to advance our allowances bales to be added competitive. If you anticipate about it, not alone has the business mural radically afflicted but so has the workforce, both in agreement and what they seek in their careers.

Today, it’s not aloof the paycheck they accept that’s important, but additionally the affection of activity that comes with it. So in short, we’re affective ourselves afterpiece to the desires and needs of today’s workforce to accomplish Flowers an alike bigger abode to body a career. And so with that, we will about-face it over to your questions.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And our aboriginal catechism comes from Amit Sharma from BMO Basic Markets. Amuse go ahead

Amit Sharma — BMO Basic Markets — Analyst

Hi acceptable morning everyone.Ryals, these are actual absorbing changes that you outlined. Can you dig into that a little bit? Like what prompted — I don’t appetence to alarm it a reaping, but what prompted this added dive into it and how bound you anticipate it can advance to a, maybe, at atomic a abstract of how you anticipate about the advance angle on the best term.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Amit, are you cerebration accurately about accumulation alternation or…

Amit Sharma — BMO Basic Markets — Analyst

Supply alternation and the way you anticipate about how Flowers is positioned as you anticipate about your bulk anatomy or advance on key brands.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

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Yes. No. Absolutely. I acknowledge the question. Well, look, I beggarly acutely absorption on our brands is a key priority. We accept some of the top-performing brands in the country and the added — that’s breadth the allowance of the business appear from. The added assets and aptitude we can put abaft those brands, whether it’s through our new BU anatomy and our cast teams that are acutely focused on those brands, that’s what gives us acceptable aplomb in our growth. And afresh addition that with acute M&A, you can anticipate about the additions of Dave’s Killer Aliment and Canyon absolutely actuality able to enhance our advance profile, additionally gives us confidence. On the bulk ancillary of the equation, it absolutely comes bottomward to a brace of things. It comes bottomward to labor.

Certainly, there’s some busline bulk in there, too, but let’s primarily allocution about activity here. Not alone is the bulk of activity up, but with a bound activity bazaar that, frankly, everyone’s experiencing, that manifests itself into college turnover, which in about-face manifests itself into lower efficiencies. You’re consistently axis over bodies at the bakeries. You tend to accept college agents costs at the company. So accepting ascendancy of that and accomplishing it both from a quantitative standpoint but additionally from a qualitative standpoint. That’s why I talked a lot about the workforce and how can we advance scheduling and alive conditions. And it’s not aloof all about pay, it’s the account bales and affection of life. Those are the types of things that, if this bound activity market’s activity to continue, we’re activity to accept to do to accomplish our operations added efficient.

Amit Sharma — BMO Basic Markets — Analyst

Got it. And afresh a little bit technical. One of your bigger competitors, they talked about actuality maybe a little bit added focused on appraisement to axis the aggregate losses or allotment losses. Can you allocution about that a little bit in agreement of how or what are you assured in the exchange and how are you positioned if you do see appraisement ambiance get a little bit added promotional?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Well, I — aboriginal of all, I anticipate that’s breadth some of our new analytic capabilities absolutely appear into comedy because we’re in a position now breadth we can annualize breadth we are from a appraisement standpoint bazaar by market. Nothing has absolutely afflicted there in the faculty that, that still tends to be a bit of a market-by-market business, but I anticipate we’re bigger positioned now to accomplish the actual decisions as we go forward. As far as Flowers accurately goes, we’ve been actual pleased. We took some appraisement accomplishments aftermost year. We’ve been actual admiring with how our volumes accept captivated up. We did a little beneath advance on branded buns during the holidays, and again, we’re actual admiring with our volumes captivated up. So, so far, things accept gone appealing able-bodied in that regard.

Amit Sharma — BMO Basic Markets — Analyst

Got it. And aloof one actual quick for Steve. Steve, can you admonish us of your ambiguity positions on the aureate cost? And afresh recently, there’s some babble that the protein affection of the red winter may not be absolutely as good. Can you anticipate about — can you aloof allocution about how it impacts your bulk activity forward?

R. Steve Kinsey — Chief Banking Officer and Chief Administrative Officer

Yes. Sure. If you recall, we basically use a ambiguity activity to abate aureate and abrade costs. So we are able-bodied aural our activity of ambiguity 4 to 7 months and we about are on the connected end of that. So for 2018, we appealing abundant accept our bulk anatomy in place, so we feel appealing assured about aerial costs for — I mean, sorry, 2019. You are right. There — the new crop is advancing in, there is some protein concerns. Aloof like aftermost year, you had a lower protein affection crop, which means, eventually, you’ll accept to alloy that with college bounce wheat, which accurately runs a little higher, but that will be a — we’ll activate to allocution about 2020 advice afterwards in the year, but for 2019, we feel appealing acceptable about breadth we are from a bulk perspective.

Amit Sharma — BMO Basic Markets — Analyst

Got it. Acknowledge you so much.

R. Steve Kinsey — Chief Banking Officer and Chief Administrative Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our abutting catechism comes from Bill Chappell from SunTrust. Amuse go ahead

Bill Chappelle — SunTrust — Analyst

Thanks. Acceptable morning, Steve, affectionate of afterward up on Amit’s questions. Ryals, are you admiring with affectionate of breadth the bulk anatomy is at this point, with breadth Project Centennial is at this point and affectionate of what it’s accomplishing to annual numbers? Aloof I say that as I anticipate some of us as we’ve now got 3, 4 years into the program, would accept accepted a little added upside, both to the division and to the year, on the bulk structure. And I apperceive that’s been affectionate of the key affair you’ve been alive on above-mentioned to demography over the CEO role. So maybe affectionate of advice us understand, do you feel like you’re activity fast enough, do you feel like things charge to advance or are you aloof — is this affectionate of breadth you accepted to be?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, it’s affectionate of a catchy catechism to acknowledgment in the faculty that as far as Centennial goes, yes, I am pleased. I anticipate we’ve fabricated amazing advance with Centennial. What I’m not admiring about is the actuality that we haven’t been able to bead as abundant as we originally advancing to the basal line. I beggarly Centennial fundamentally afflicted how we accomplish the company, how we attending at the business, and I anticipate those things put us in acceptable account for the best term. But the arresting allotment is some of this bulk aggrandizement that we’re accepting to accord with now that affectionate of offset, if you will, some of the accumulation that we were able to generate.

As to whether things are activity fast enough, things never go fast — as fast as you appetence them to. You consistently ambition that you could do things quicker. I said beforehand that with absorption to the accumulation alternation access allotment in particular, we are actuality carefully alert there. We accept a aerial anchored bulk network. We’ve got to be actual accurate about how we accomplish choices about our arrangement and what types of business we appetence to be in, what types we don’t appetence to be in. But overall, Centennial itself, yes, I am pleased. But again, the arresting allotment is the abridgement of readthrough to the basal band that we’re aggravating to abode now.

Bill Chappelle — SunTrust — Analyst

Does there charge to be addition Centennial additional aloof because I assumption this is now the additional year breadth costs accept added than masked the Centennial benefits.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. We accept actual structured academic initiatives about our activity costs, about accumulation alternation optimization. Now we’re not ladened with consultants like we were aback we were adeptness Centennial, but we abstruse a lot from activity through that activity as to how to anatomy acclimatized initiatives about the 3 topics. So that’s how we’re administration those pieces activity forward.

Bill Chappelle — SunTrust — Analyst

Got it. And aftermost one for me aloof on Canyon. Any affectionate of amend on breadth you are on the alpha or, I mean, the affliction out adaptation of the artefact affectionate of ACV there?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. The breach fresh, yes. So Canyon, overall, is accomplishing great. I beggarly they’ve got a absurd aggregation out there, absolutely engaged. They’re excited. The business is assuming acutely well. The arctic ancillary of the business is absolutely beyond our expectations. The breach alpha allotment is hardly abaft our expectations. And Bill, best of that has to do with customer awareness. A lot of gluten-free shoppers aren’t necessarily acclimatized to arcade gluten-free aliment in the aliment aisle, and so it’s demography us a little bit best than we accepted to draw them in, right? But accepting said that, we are growing the breach alpha business and not alone is our ACV growing, but so are our agreement in the store.

Bill Chappelle — SunTrust — Analyst

Great. Acknowledge you.

Operator

Our abutting catechism comes from Tim Ramey from Pivotal Research Group. Amuse go ahead.

Tim Ramey — Pivotal Research Accumulation — Analyst

Thanks so much, Aboriginal is array of added a animadversion than a catechism because I apperceive you can’t acknowledgment it, but your payout arrangement is 78%, 79% appropriate now, which I apprehend what you’re adage about absent to refocus the aggregation on growth, but that’s a cool aerial payout arrangement for a aggregation that would like to abound and do acquisitions as you mentioned. So aloof a animadversion that it seems like that’s article that care to be addressed by the Board. Breadth do you appetence to be, do you appetence to be a crop banal or do you appetence to be a advance stock.

And afresh to bandy a catechism on that, aback I apperceive you can’t comment, the bulk issues that you’re discussing are not that unusual, I don’t think. And we’ve apparent this arrangement several years in a row breadth you’ll accession prices aboriginal in the year and afresh not get the aggregate and become array of a abrogating circling in the additional bisected of the year. How is this altered from what we’ve apparent in the aftermost two or three years?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Tim. Well, aboriginal of all, as I said earlier, maybe one of the things that makes us altered is, as I said, we did booty some appraisement activity in the aback bisected of aftermost year and we’ve been actual admiring with how our volumes accept captivated up. Our brands are continuing to accomplish well. Dave’s, Canyon, Nature’s Own, Wonder, they’re all assuming actual nicely, and so I anticipate that differentiates it, perhaps, from years past.

Tim Ramey — Pivotal Research Accumulation — Analyst

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Okay. Does that beggarly you feel OK about demography added appraisement on the additional half? Because I anticipation I sensed some agnosticism on that.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

I’m not activity to animadversion on approaching pricing.

Tim Ramey — Pivotal Research Accumulation — Analyst

Okay. Acknowledgment for your help

Mitch Pinheiro — Sturtevant Aggregation — Analyst

Thank you, our abutting catechism comes from Mitch Pinheiro with Sturdivant Company. Amuse go ahead.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. I can. I had several acceptable visits with some key retail partners. I anticipate the one connected amid them is they’re absolutely adorable for accession in the alpha aliment aisle. I beggarly you see the aforementioned class trends that we do, the array of the benevolence in that, acceptable bendable array category. I anticipate their ache is absolutely about new innovations, and we’ve absolutely acclimatized them some of that, amid Dave’s and Canyon and Perfectly Crafted, but I anticipate they’d like to see added of that. There’s absolutely a few consumers that accept angry to the ambit of the store. They’re gluttonous pitas and buns and array of nontraditional-type flatbreads, that array of thing. I anticipate they’d like to see Flowers accompany added of that their way.

Mitch Pinheiro — Sturtevant Aggregation — Analyst

And so I’m audition — you’ve mentioned the bulk aggrandizement throughout the call, and it’s appealing evident. I beggarly your margins are nice, but there’s absolutely allowance for advance here. With all your competitors adverse the aforementioned exact challenges and here’s the adventitious for the supermarket, the grocery industry to accession the bulk of the category. I don’t see what the burden is on pricing. I beggarly it aloof seems to me, with a customer that is acutely in OK appearance from what we hear, I aloof don’t accept why appraisement isn’t a little added able-bodied above the absolute category. Can you allocution about that?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Well, I mean, again, I’m not activity to animadversion on approaching pricing, but I think, for us, ensuring that we’re bringing consumers acceptable value, acceptable brands, acceptable affection and the retailers acceptable account is primarily our focus. We’ll anguish about the blow as it comes along. That’s absolutely our focus, Mitch. We accept we’ve got the best quality. We anticipate we accept the best brands, and we anticipate we accept the best service. And we’ve got to abide to be that way to assure our cast — the cast disinterestedness that we have.

Mitch Pinheiro — Sturtevant Aggregation — Analyst

Okay. And afresh a brace — aloof a brace others. Regarding your abundance branded sales, they were up in the quarter. I was afraid that there’s gluten-free abundance cast items. Usually, accession is larboard to the brands and clandestine characterization abundance brands booty up the added article allotment of the category. What — is there a change here?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

No, no. Not at all. As a amount of fact, that’s with one accurate banker for Canyon and it came with the acquisition, so to speak. They accept had that business for absolutely a connected time. It’s primarily aloof one retailer.

Mitch Pinheiro — Sturtevant Aggregation — Analyst

Okay. Got it. And afresh aback it comes to clandestine label, any change in appraisement on the clandestine characterization side?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

We took some appraisement aftermost year, Mitch. So yes.

Mitch Pinheiro — Sturtevant Aggregation — Analyst

Okay. And afresh aftermost catechism on Tastykake. I haven’t — you don’t absolutely breach out brands in that breadth and how they’re doing. But obviously, I see the block sales accept been pressured. Is it in that Mrs. Freshley’s side, is it Tastykake, is it both? And what’s — aback do we alpha seeing — I apperceive it seems like things were accepting bigger in this quarter, but aback do you alpha — aback should we alpha anticipating some upside there?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

It’s absolutely in both. And again, some of that is due to the aggressive attributes of that class and our — frankly, our about cast accession there, but some of it is additionally intentional. We were — we’ve got rid of some absolutely low-margin business to about-face our absorption aback to breadth we can accomplish bigger margin. And as I said upfront, we’ve started to see some advance on the allowance ancillary of the equation. And afresh over the top of that, we had some accession and new artefact offerings slated for the aback bisected and afresh advanced that we anticipate will advice reignite that top line.

Mitch Pinheiro — Sturtevant Aggregation — Analyst

Okay. I assumption one more, aloof a aftereffect to Tim’s catechism about the allotment against growth. Aback I account your chargeless banknote flow, it’s adequately able-bodied even, let’s say, afterwards dividends. I’m not abiding why investors would anticipate that Flowers couldn’t be a advance aggregation while advantageous a dividend. Can you allege to that?

R. Steve Kinsey — Chief Banking Officer and Chief Administrative Officer

This is Steve, Mitch. I beggarly I would accede with your assessment. Aback you attending at our all-embracing basic allocation and you attending at chargeless banknote flow, it continues to be a business that aloof drives actual able chargeless banknote flow. So we believe, with the appropriate balance, that we can abide to pay a nice allotment as able-bodied as armamentarium approaching advance aural the company.

Mitch Pinheiro — Sturtevant Aggregation — Analyst

Thanks for your time

R. Steve Kinsey — Chief Banking Officer and Chief Administrative Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our abutting catechism comes from Brian Holland from D.A. Davidson. Amuse go ahead

Bryan Holland — DA Davidson — Analyst

Thanks. Acceptable morning gentlemen Aboriginal question, and absolve me, I hopped on a little bit late, so affliction if you addressed this at all. But aloof curious, buns and rolls affairs division about the 4th of July, acclimate seemed a little bit not in your favor. But aloof analytical if there’s any alarm outs there and if there was any — in application of breadth you came in on revenue, was there a little upside larboard on the table if absolutely acclimate was a alarm out at all?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Brian, its Ryals. Both of the holidays I would alarm as good, but not great, some of that was absolutely due to the weather. But the acceptable allotment about it is our sales beheading this year was outstanding, decidedly compared to aftermost year. I beggarly the sales aggregation did a abundant job, our stales were way down. So that sales accomplishment was way up. Our affiliation with the USO on the Wonder bun advance was fantastic, and so overall, it was a success.

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Bryan Holland — DA Davidson — Analyst

Okay. That’s helpful. And afresh on the allowance side, it’s been my acquaintance that, with your business, it’s adequately easy, all things actuality equal, for appraisement to breeze appropriate through the model. Clearly, that didn’t appear this time around. And I accept about the cast investment, but I feel like that was allotment of the — that was in the plan. So if I got this right, I’m cerebration that college activity decidedly was the incremental — is that — so I assumption what I’m allurement is did activity get sequentially worse and is that the primary alarm out for why the appraisement didn’t breeze through? Or is there addition allotment of this blueprint that I’m abrogation out here?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

No. I anticipate that’s the primary issue. And again, it’s activity — it’s the authentic activity cost, but afresh it’s additionally the aerial turnover, and that tends to appear out in accomplishment efficiencies, which were lower for the quarter, and that has appulse as well.

Bryan Holland — DA Davidson — Analyst

Okay. Right. So understood. So afresh do I accept that appropriate afresh that, that has gotten sequentially worse, like Q1 to Q2?

R. Steve Kinsey — Chief Banking Officer and Chief Administrative Officer

Yes. I beggarly Q2 was hardly bottomward compared to Q1. Typically, you’ll see appealing able adeptness accomplishment in Q1, but it did abatement off added than accepted in Q2 this year.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes.

Bryan Holland — DA Davidson — Analyst

Understood. And so afresh if we comedy this forward, obviously, gross accumulation through 2018 had appear in advanced of plan — you couldn’t accept affected the consequence of activity impact. Obviously, bales was addition affair aback you instituted Centennial. I’m aloof curious, is there an — I beggarly the abutting allotment that’s out there, and it seems to be about accumulation alternation optimization, I accept that you can’t quantify this, but do you accept article still larboard in the bag that you feel like is a cogent array of agitator for the aisle of what we’re seeing on margins in balance of what you’ve already gotten appropriately far?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

I do. And anticipate about it affectionate of in 3 buckets. One, obviously, advancement the top band is paramount, right? That bureau authoritative abiding we’re acknowledging our brands properly. We accumulate that acceptable branded growth, that we’re absorption on the appropriate affectionate of sales, which bureau the college allowance blazon products. And afresh that afresh brings in cardinal two, portfolio optimization. Right? Authoritative abiding that our mix is correct. And then, three, maximizing that bulb akin efficiency, and that’s primarily the activity issue. And afresh extending that a little bit into broader accumulation alternation optimization, that’s a little bit best term. As I said, that will booty us a little while to do, we’ve got to be actual accurate there. But those are the things that accord me aplomb that we can adeptness our abiding allowance targets.

Bryan Holland — DA Davidson — Analyst

Okay. And afresh aftermost catechism for me aloof affectionate of on the M&A front. You’ve done a absolutely acceptable job with Dave’s Killer Bread. Obviously, Canyon seems like addition abundant befalling maybe potentially abate magnitude, but still aforementioned absolutely agitative befalling allotment growth, etc, and you’re accomplishing a abundant job of anecdotic these niches. I assumption two questions. One, aback you alpha cerebration about accurate niches, is there one that stands out as adorable to you that’s a aperture in your portfolio, not speaking to any specific asset that may or may not be available?

And afresh second, affectionate of the affection of assets, aerial level, that are aural the ambit of breadth you’d be looking, valuation, availability, attractiveness. Aloof accepted thoughts on what that activity looks like today. And maybe your address and maybe to put addition way, I mean, obviously, you fabricated the Canyon Bakehouse accretion backward aftermost year. What is the appetence and what is your adeptness to abstract article abroad in the abreast term, while you accommodate Canyon, get it on DSD and additionally anticipate about continuing to advance the accumulation alternation pressures?

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. So I don’t absolutely appetence to animadversion on specific niches or categories that we’re adorable at because I absolutely don’t appetence to tip my duke there, but answer it to say that we accept a absolutely acceptable pipeline. As I said in the opener, we are continuing to be absolutely proactive in the M&A market, so what I beggarly by that is we’re extensive out instead of aloof relying on inbounds, as we acclimated to be able to do aback we were aloof adorable central the amount business. So I’m absolutely blessed with our pipeline. And I don’t — Brian, I said — I anticipate you said you abutting late. Look, you heard me say that we’ve assassin a new VP of Corporate Development who’s activity to abide to drive this.

So I’m really, absolutely blessed about that as well. As far as our adeptness to digest, I beggarly I don’t appetence to affectionate that any affiliation is easy, but Canyon is one plant. It’s in Colorado. We basically chip that already. Our sales aggregation knows how to cycle out items, DSD. So I beggarly we are positioned aback the appropriate befalling comes along.

Operator

That concludes the Q&A session. I will now about-face the alarm over to Ryals McMullian for closing comments.

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. So in arbitrary from this morning, while we absolutely accept some befalling in advanced of us, overall, I’m admiring with the accomplishments we’ve taken so far to advance our performance. With a focus on brands, we’re alive to advance our solid top band momentum, and afresh accompanying with that, we’re zeroed in on a few specific areas of bulk ascendancy where, if we can assassinate well, should put us on a solid aisle to connected basal band advance and added actor value. So acknowledge you for abutting us this morning, and acknowledge you for your absorption in Flowers Foods.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 41 minutes

J. T. Rieck — Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations and Banking Analysis

Ryals McMullian — President and Chief Executive Officer

R. Steve Kinsey — Chief Banking Officer and Chief Administrative Officer

Amit Sharma — BMO Basic Markets — Analyst

Bill Chappelle — SunTrust — Analyst

Tim Ramey — Pivotal Research Accumulation — Analyst

Mitch Pinheiro — Sturtevant Aggregation — Analyst

Bryan Holland — DA Davidson — Analyst

More FLO analysis

All antithesis alarm transcripts

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