Apio has seen produce category growth over the last nine months and we expect this trend to continue during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012. The overall fresh-cut produce category experienced a 6.2% growth in volume during the last nine months. For Apio, our unit volume growth over the last nine months has been 19%, more than triple the category growth. While we have experienced some weather anomalies over the last nine months, they have not resulted in the significant business disruptions that we experienced during fiscal year 2011.
Apio continues to add customers and introduce new products. Apio’s unit volume growth and market share continue to benefit from Apio’s focus on advancing and improving its competitive advantages in technology, customer service and product quality.
3) What is the status of Windset’s new Santa Maria, California operation in which Landec has a 20% ownership interest?
Windset has completed construction on the first 64 acres of greenhouses, which equates to three million square feet, along with completion of the processing facility and the water treatment plant. All 64 acres have been planted with different varieties of tomatoes. Harvesting began on the first 32 acres in October and on the second 32 acres in December. Production performance is currently exceeding Windset’s original expectations.During the three and nine months ended February 26, 2012 we recognized pre-tax income of $3.5 million and $4.7 million, respectively, from our percentage of the increase in Windset’s fair market value. In addition, during the first nine months of fiscal year 2012 we have accrued $844,000 of dividends on our Windset preferred stock. Dividends for the full year are $1.125 million and cash payment is due in May. 4) Why is Lifecore’s growth lower this year than last year?
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