Santa Paula-based avocado distributor Calavo Growers said Sept. 3 that double-digit growth in fresh avocado sales fueled a 77 percent rise in profits to $2.5 million in the third quarter.
Since the beginning of the year, Calavo’s profit has soared three-fold compared to 2008, from $3.7 million to $11.3 million. The third quarter earnings came on revenue of $106 million compared to $97 million during the same quarter last year.
Third quarter earnings per share were 17 cents, compared to 10 cents per share in 2008, missing analyst expectations of 26 cents per share. Revenue beat analyst expectations.
Calavo President and Chief Executive Officer Lee Cole said in a release that he expects Calavo to complete “its strongest year ever in fiscal 2009 while the industry transitions into the next crop cycles.”
Calavo said it expects U.S. avocado supply to expand from 1 billion pounds a year to 1.5 billion pounds, a shift it sees as driven by more trees and more demand.
Cole said the increase has “the potential to significantly benefit” Calavo. Given its packing infrastructure, Calavo has “considerable capacity to drive more fresh avocados through,” Cole said, “while pursuing a larger share of the expanded market.”