U.S.: Limoneira expects record revenue in FY2017
California-based global agribusiness Limoneira expects revenue to rise by around 7% in the 2017 fiscal year to US$120 million despite delayed timing for its desert lemon crop out of Arizona.
In its business update and guidance published yesterday, the company provided commentary on Arizona weather conditions and the minimal impacts to date from the Thomas Fire in southern California.
The group said excessive heat in the Arizona dsert dlowed fruit sizing during the fourth quarter, delaying timing of harvests until the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.
In addition, Limoneira highlighted fresh lemon prices were lower in October 2017 than previously anticipated but they then rebounded and were expected to be similar to previous estimates.
As a result, the group expects operating income to be between US$11.5-12 million and EBITDA to be in the range of US$18.6-19.1 million.
"We believe we will achieve record revenue and operating profit in fiscal 2017 despite the delayed timing of our desert lemon harvest," said Limoneira's chief executive officer Harold Edwards.
"Our recent acquisitions, our expanded lemon planting efforts, our affiliated grower recruiting efforts, our new lemon packinghouse, our sales/marketing alliance with Suntreat for our oranges and specialty citrus and our focus on improving operating efficiencies have us very well positioned for continued growth in our operating results in fiscal year 2018."
The group said it was assessing potential property and crop damage caused by wildfires in California and related high winds, with initial indications showing Limoneira's orchards did not suffer significant damage.
Fourteen of the Company’s 265 farm-worker housing units were destroyed by the fire and a brief power outage occurred at the company's packinghouse.
Limoneira currently does not expect the fire and wind damage to have a material impact on its results of operations, however, the farm-worker housing units are estimated to cost approximately US$60,000 per unit to replace.
“We are very thankful for the hundreds of firefighters that braved the fires to protect our properties as well as the properties of our friends and neighbors," said chief operating officer Alex Teague.
"We will know in the coming months if the fires affected our avocado or citrus crops for fiscal 2018. In addition, we do not believe the wildfires caused any long-term damage to our orchards."