THOMASVILLE, GA. — The board of directors of Flowers Foods declared a quarterly dividend of 15c per share, payable March 20 to shareholders of record on March 6.

"We achieved good results in fiscal 2008 and this action reflects the board’s confidence in the company’s ability to deliver similar results moving forward," said George E. Deese, chairman, chief executive officer and president. "Our balance sheet is strong and we’re generating good cash flow. This dividend allows our shareholders to participate in the company’s success."

Flowers raised the dividend to 15c per share last June. Shares of the food company opened Friday at $22.95 before dropping about 2% in early morning trading. The stock is down approximately 6% over the past 52 weeks.