U.S.: Profits more than double at Limoneira in Q2

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U.S.: Profits more than double at Limoneira in Q2

California-based multinational Limoneira (NASDAQ: LMNR) has lifted its earnings outlook for 2017 after a quarter marked by a substantial rise in citrus sales and improved avocado prices.

Expected earnings per share (EPS) for the year ending Oct. 31, 2017, has been lifted from US$0.48-0.52 up to $0.51-0.55.

The group notched a 35% year-on-year rise in revenue to reach US$36.9 million in the quarter, as well as a 129% increase in EBITDA to US$7.8 million.

While average lemon prices were down by almost a dollar per carton, volume surged to 958,000 cartons leading to lemon sales of US$26.2 million.

Meanwhile, orange revenue almost doubled to US$4.9 million due to higher prices, specialty citrus and other crops were up by US$1 million at US$2.3 million, and avocado sales were up by two-thirds thanks to higher prices and despite lower volume.

"Our solid lemon sales in the second quarter coupled with the efficiencies we are realizing from our packing facility drove a significant increase in our profit margins and cash flow," CEO Harold Edwards said in a release.

"We are very proud of the team's efforts at our new lemon packing facility, which resulted in a per carton packing cost reduction of 19% in the second quarter.

"We continue to focus on the strategic expansion of our One World of Citrus™ marketing program and increased relationships throughout the world which are enabling us to expand our share of the global citrus market."

He said the company management remained confident that key drivers of growth that contributed to the first half performance would remain in place for the second half.

"Based on anticipated favorable avocado pricing and robust lemon revenues, we are raising our full year fiscal 2017 earnings guidance," he said.



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