THOMASVILLE, GA. — The board of directors of Flowers Foods has raised its quarterly dividend 6.7%, to 12c per share. The dividend is payable on June 18 to shareholders of record as of June 4. The action increases the annualized dividend rate to 48c per share.

Allen L. Shiver, president and chief executive officer of Flowers Foods, said the board has confidence in Flowers Foods’ future performance and in the company’s ability to generate cash flow to pay dividends, reduce debt and fund the company's needs.

“In the first quarter of 2014, we again generated strong cash flow from operations, which allowed us to pay down $81.2 million in debt, pay $24 million in dividends to shareholders, invest $23.6 million in capital improvements and acquire $9.5 million of FLO common stock as part of the stock repurchase plan,” Mr. Shiver said. “The board believes the dividend is an appropriate way to allow our investors to participate in the company’s success.”