California-based Limoneira has announced its results for the opening quarter (Q1) of fiscal 2020, ended 31 January, with revenue down and loss increasing year-on-year.
Total net revenue was US$41.7m, compared to US$42m in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, while agribusiness revenue dropped to US$40.5m from US$40.8m.
Fresh lemon sales made US$27m in the quarter, down from US$30.9m, while the company recognised US$0.2m of avocado revenue compared with "minimal" avocado revenue last year.
Orange revenue climbed, to US$2.3m from US$0.9m last year, the group said, with 196,000 cartons sold.
Operating loss stood at US$8.5m, compared with a loss of US$3m in the opening quarter of 2019, and adjusted EBITDA was a loss of US$5.1m, from a loss of US$0.6m in the same period of 2019.
“Our overall seasonally soft first quarter of fiscal 2020 results generated slightly higher lemon volume, but was offset by lower pricing due to the high winds that reduced the amount of higher priced fancy lemons available for sale," outlined Harold Edwards, president and CEO of the company. "Avocados, oranges and specialty citrus revenue increased compared to the same period last year and our real estate development project, Harvest at Limoneira, has now closed 244 lot sales, including 34 during our first quarter of fiscal 2020.
“During the past few weeks of our second quarter of fiscal 2020, we have experienced reduced lemon and orange pricing due to the negative impact Covid-19 is having on consumer demand in Asian countries and supply chain disruptions," he continued. "This situation is also currently creating an oversupply of lemons and oranges domestically.
"We are updating our full fiscal year 2020 guidance and now expect improvements in our avocados to be offset by a currently challenging environment in our citrus offerings," Edwards concluded. "We expect full fiscal year 2020 adjusted EBITDA to increase compared to last year to a range of US$15m to US $20m.”