Santa Paula, Calif.-based Limoneira Company said higher lemon volume and prices boosted its quarterly results.
For the second quarter ending April 30 the company’s lemon revenue grew 28% to $33.6 million compared with the same quarter last year. Second quarter net revenue, according to a news release, rose 17% to $43.1 million.
“Record lemon sales combined with strong orange sales and leverage from our packinghouse drove a 50% increase in operating income,” Harold Edwards, president and CEO, said in the release. “We have built a tremendous platform at Limoneira and are very well positioned to dramatically expand our fresh citrus offering nationally and globally for many years to come."
Edwards said that even with lower avocado pricing compared to last year, the company is confident it will achieve fiscal 2018 targets.
The release said the company recorded $33.6 million in lemon sales for the quarter ending April 30, up 28% from $26.2 million in lemon sales for the same period a year ago. The company said the sales increase was the result of higher volume of fresh lemons and higher prices compared with last year.
The company moved 1.157 million cartons of fresh lemons in the quarter at average price of $23.42 per carton. In the same quarter a year ago, Limoneira shipped about 958,000 cartons at an average per carton price of $21.50, according to the release.
The company said avocado revenue for the quarter was $0.9 million, down by nearly half compared with $2 million in the same quarter last year. The decline was attributed to lower avocado volume and prices.
Limoneira’s revenue from oranges totaled $5.2 million for the quarter, up 6% from $4.9 million a year ago.
Specialty citrus and other crop revenues were $2.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, down slightly from $2.3 million in the same quarter last year.
For the fiscal year, Limoneira said it expects to sell between 3.1 million and 3.3 million cartons of fresh lemons at an average price of approximately $24.50 per carton.
In addition, the company said it expects to sell approximately 6 million-6.5 million pounds of avocados at approximately $1.30 per pound.
The company said it owns 1,600 acres of non-bearing lemons trees, which are estimated to become full-bearing over the next four years, according to the release. Limoneira said it intends to plant an additional 500 acres of lemons in the next two years that will boost its long-term supply.
That increase in bearing acreage of fruit could eventually raise the company’s annual lemon supply by 30%, or about 900,000-1.3 million additional fresh cartons, according to the release.