Limoneira posts dip in 2020 operating income

Limoneira posts dip in 2020 operating income

U.S.-based Limoneira Company has reported a 4% year-on-year decline in revenue to US$ 164.6 million for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, primarily the result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Operating income for the fiscal year fell 71%, from $19.0 million to $5.5 million.

However, in a statement, CEO Harold Edwards highlighted that Limoneira reached record lemon volumes and the real estate development project, Harvest at Limoneira, “exceeded our expectations”. 

Domestic lemon volume increased due to a focus on grocery retail as consumers continue to dine at home instead of going to restaurants and other foodservice venues.

Edwards said: “During our seasonally soft fiscal fourth quarter of 2020, pricing was lower than expected during the back half of the quarter primarily related to reduced exports to Asia due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In the fourth quarter of 2020, agribusiness revenue fell 22% from $17.0 million to $13.3 million, primarily due to the result of Covid-19 pandemic-related foodservice closures and lower export demand, which in turn resulted in lower average per carton prices.

Approximately 787,000 cartons of fresh lemons were sold during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020 at a $17.00 average price per carton compared to approximately 793,000 cartons sold at an average of $21.46 during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019.