Calavo Forecasts Growth Ahead

Despite headwinds of lower prices in the latest quarter, Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc. reported record revenues and adjusted net income for fiscal 2018.

For the quarter ending Oct. 31, Calavo reported adjusted net income of $5 million, down from $10.3 million in same quarter last year.

For the year ending Oct. 31, Calavo’s adjusted net income was pegged at $43.7 million, compared with $38 million for fiscal year 2017. Revenues for fiscal year 2018 were $1.1 billion, slightly above a year ago, according to the company.

“In fiscal 2018, we realized very strong year-over-year growth in key areas of each of our three core business segments,” Calavo chairman, president and CEO Lee Cole said in the release.

Cole said the company’s fresh segment recorded 19% growth in avocado unit volumes, with its value-added sales also adding sales and profit.

“Calavo sold 53% more avocado units in its Fresh segment during the most recent quarter versus the year-earlier fourth period,” Cole said in the release.”Compared with last year’s extraordinary avocado market conditions (during which consumer demand significantly outstripped available supply), we encountered a challenging year-over-year environment in the most-recent quarter, in which industry prices fell sharply over 11 weeks during the period.”

Even so, Cole said the company is “gratified” its per-unit profitability remained strong by long-term historical standards.

Cole said the fiscal year 2019 outlook brings long-term growth potential to both fresh and value-added business segments.

“The avocado industry extended forecast continues to be highly favorable and a harbinger for future growth,” Cole said in the release. “We anticipate that the all-source avocado supply will expand again in fiscal 2019, extending its long-term growth curve.”

Cole said in the release said that the company’s diverse sourcing — combined with strength in sales, production and distribution —  will serve it well. Cole said the company projects full-year growth in gross profit in the high teens in fiscal 2019.