Lemon sales increased 53% to $35.6 million for the nine months ended July 31, 2012 compared to $23.4 million for same period of 2011 as a result of higher average prices and increased volume. Fresh lemon cartons sold increased 33% to 1.9 million for the nine months ended July 31, 2012 from 1.4 million for the same period of 2011. The Company estimates it will sell approximately 2.4 million fresh lemon cartons in fiscal year 2012 compared to 1.8 million for fiscal year 2011.
Harold Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are pleased with the continued progress of our business and our third quarter financial results. Our agribusiness revenue improved 19%, reflecting our strong lemon sales, and we generated solid Adjusted EBITDA of $8.2 million. We used our cash flow to invest in our agriculture business and reduce a portion of our long-term debt and expect to continue to do so in the fourth quarter.”
Mr. Edwards continued, “We continued to execute on our strategy of adding productive agriculture land with our August acquisition of 230 acres of agriculture property in the San Joaquin Valley of California. This property, which is adjacent to the Sheldon orchards, is high quality citrus land that will be planted with lemons and we expect that it will produce approximately 1,000 cartons of lemons per acre. With this acquisition, we now own or lease over 8,000 acres of agriculture and real estate property. As we begin the final quarter of fiscal 2012 and look toward next year, we have identified a number of potential acquisition opportunities and look forward to strategically adding to our acreage as we continue to grow our agriculture business. Regarding our real estate development efforts, we continue to evaluate market conditions and are committed to capitalizing on opportunities to monetize our real estate portfolio at the appropriate time.”