Limoneira posts bigger Q1 loss following lemon pricing headwinds

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Limoneira posts bigger Q1 loss following lemon pricing headwinds

California-based Limoneira has reported flat revenues year-on-year for the first quarter but a bigger operating loss, largely due to lower lemon pricing.

The company posted net revenues of US$41.7m for the period ended Jan. 30, compared to US$42m in the same quarter last year. The operating loss was US$8.5m compared to a loss of US$3m the previous year.

The agribusiness saw slightly lower fresh lemon revenue of US$27m, with the decrease primarily the result of lower prices partially offset by an increase in volume of fresh lemons. However, orange revenue increased to US$2.3m up from US$0.9m due to higher volume partially offset by lower prices.

“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," Limoneira president and CEO Harold Edwards said.

He added that during the past few weeks of the second fiscal quarter, the company has experienced reduced lemon and orange pricing due to the impact of the coronavirus on consumer demand in Asian countries and supply chain disruptions

"This situation is also currently creating an oversupply of lemons and oranges domestically," he said.

"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. We expect full fiscal year 2020 adjusted EBITDA to increase compared to last year to a range of $15 million to $20 million.”

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