Strong lemon sales have seen California-headquartered agribusiness Limoneira post solid results in the first quarter of its 2017 financial year.
Revenue rose 12 per cent to US$28.1m compared to the first quarter of 2016, with lemon sales increasing 19 per cent to US$26m.
The company said the increase in revenue was the result of a higher volume of lemons sold, albeit at a slightly lower price than during the first quarter of 2016.
"We achieved record lemon sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 and the efficiencies from our recently completed packing facility also benefited our first quarter results,” Harold Edwards, president and CEO of Limoneira said in a company statement. “Over the past few years, we have made many strategic investments including the purchase of additional citrus acreage, expansion of our ‘One World of Citrus’ marketing programme and increased partner relationships throughout the world which are enabling us to expand our share of the global citrus market."
Increased rainfalls during orange harvest saw orange revenue drop from US$1m to US$500,000 in the first quarter. Operating losses improved to US$3.2m compared to US$6.3m in the same period last year.
Edwards said the company expected an improved outlook for the year, with anticipated increases in avocado pricing and lemon revenues.