THOMASVILLE, GA. — Flowers Foods, Inc. has raised its quarterly dividend payout rate to 14.5c per share on the common stock, a 9.4% increase from the previous payout rate and a 21% increase from the dividend rate a year earlier. Based on a market price of $21.88 per share in New York Stock Exchange trading June 5, the new payout rate would equate to a dividend yield of 2.65%, up from the prevailing 2.4% yield. The new dividend is payable July 2 to shareholders of record June 19. Flowers last raised its dividend rate in November 2014.

Allen L. Shiver, president and c.e.o. of Flowers Foods.

Allen L. Shiver, president and chief executive officer, noted areas of progress at the company in recent months.

“During the first quarter of 2015, we generated significant cash flow and continued to lower debt,” he said. “We also grew sales of our branded products, expanded gross margins, and improved manufacturing efficiencies. The board believes Flowers Foods is in an excellent position to reward our shareholders with an increased dividend, allowing our investors to continue participating in the company’s success.”