Cole continued: “A substantially larger avocado harvest in California resulted in Calavo packing nearly 900,000 more cartons of fruit in the final quarter than a year earlier and approximately 2.4 million more units for the whole of fiscal 2012, bringing to more than 12 million the total number packed. The significantly larger crop paced volume through our unit-driven packinghouses and benefited Fresh business segment and overall gross margin. As anticipated, our legacy Calavo Foods business posted outstanding results for the quarter and full year, capitalizing on higher sales and favorable fruit costs owing to a larger supply in the marketplace which, in turn, fueled strong gross margins. And RFG, which completed its initial full fiscal year as part of Calavo, performed to our expectations and provided excellent incremental contribution to the company’s top line.”
Cole added that the strength of Calavo’s operating results enabled it to return to shareholders more than $9.6 million subsequent to fiscal-year end in the form of the company’s annual cash dividend, which was increased by 18 percent from the prior year to $0.65 per share. As point of note, since 2002 Calavo’s annual cash dividend has risen consistently from $0.20 per share to its current payout level.
Net income for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2012 climbed to $17.1 million, equal to $1.15 per diluted share, from $11.1 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, one year earlier. Fiscal 2012 results include the effect of a $1.8 million income tax expense recorded in the second quarter related to an unfavorable ruling in a disputed matter with Mexico’s tax authority’s examination of the 2004 tax year. Net income for fiscal 2012 before the Mexican tax item was $18.9 million, equal to $1.27 per diluted share.
Revenues for the most-recent year rose five percent to $551.1 million, a new historic high, from $522.5 million in fiscal 2011. Annual gross margin climbed 43 percent to a record $60.7 million from $42.3 million in fiscal 2011 and eclipsing the prior high of $51.5 million established two years earlier. Operating income vaulted to $27.5 million in fiscal 2012, an increase of 50 percent from $18.3 million in the corresponding period one year ago.