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Calavo Growers, Inc. Posts Sharply Higher Fiscal 2012 Second Quarter And Six-Month Results Before Giving Effect To Mexican Tax Item

Second quarter revenues in Calavo’s Fresh business segment totaled $91.7 million, a decrease of 15 percent from $107.7 million in the corresponding period last year. Despite delivering significantly higher unit volume of both fresh avocados and tomatoes, the year-over-year decline in segment revenues is principally attributable to lower sales prices in the marketplace resulting primarily from an abundant industry supply. Total Fresh segment volume advanced 40 percent to 4.7 million units from 3.3 million units in the fiscal 2011 second quarter. Fresh gross margin equaled $8.0 million, or 8.7 percent of segment sales, versus $7.5 million, or 7.0 percent of segment sales, in the corresponding quarter last year.

In the Calavo Foods business segment—encompassing the company’s legacy products, including prepared avocados, Salsa Lisa, and tortilla chips—revenues totaled $11.2 million, substantially unchanged from $11.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. With respect to prepared avocado products—that business segment’s cornerstone—the company benefited from favorable fruit costs, as well as improved pricing and production efficiencies. Gross margin rose two-fold to $3.9 million, equal to 35 percent of segment sales, from $1.8 million, or 16.2 percent of Calavo Foods’ sales, in last year’s second quarter.

Sales in the RFG business segment in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 totaled $36.1 million. Gross margin totaled $2.8 million, equal to 7.8 percent of segment sales. The company cited several second-quarter operating achievements in the RFG unit, including new retail grocery accounts, acceptance by retailers of more of the unit’s brands, and strong demand from consumers. RFG continues to demonstrate success in the development of new products and in utilizing just-in-time production and delivery of fresh product to serve both grocery retailers and consumers.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense in the most recent quarter totaled $7.6 million, equal to 5.5 percent of revenues, versus $5.5 million, or 4.7 percent of revenues, in last year’s second period. The year-over-year increase in SG&A principally reflects the addition of RFG, as well as accruals for contingent purchase consideration related to the RFG transaction, and an increase in stock-based compensation expense. SG&A as a percentage of gross margin—a key metric for the company—fell by more than 700 basis points to 52 percent in the fiscal 2012 second period from 59 percent in the year-ago like quarter.

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