Before I turn it to George and the team I do want to announce to you that we’ve going to be hosting our Analyst Day in Philadelphia on Tuesday, March 20th and we’ll send more information about that next week, but I wanted to upfront ask you to mark that on your calendar.
With us on the call today, we have George Deese, Flowers Foods’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Allen Shiver, President; Steve Kinsey, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. As you know, we’ll answer -- we’ll open the call for your questions after our prepared remarks.
Now, I’ll turn the call to Flowers Foods’ Chairman and CEO, George Deese.
George DeeseThank you, Marta. Good morning to each of you and welcome to Flowers Foods’ fourth quarter conference call. As always, thank you for your continued interest. I’m pleased that we’ve delivered sales growth of 14% for the quarter and 7.8% for the full year. That is solid growth in light of marketplace and economic pressures, and it shows the strength of our DSD business, the Nature’s Own brand and our ability to grow in new markets and through acquisitions. On the earnings side, we did not clearly overcome the challenges of high input cost, commodity markets and consumers’ reaction to the weaker economy and food inflation. Our margins also impacted. Our team is managing through those difficult challenges to deliver future results in line with our long-term goals. You have heard me say it before that in business there are ups and downs quarter-to-quarter and sometimes year-to-year. However, over the long-term Flowers Foods has constantly consistently delivered growth in line with our goals. I have great confidence in our team’s ability to continue that trend. Flowers Foods’ future is promising. We are focused on our operations, the marketplace and on opportunities for growth. I will tell you more about that in a few minutes but I want you to know upfront that I have never been more confident in our company and the opportunities ahead.
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