The Californian-based avocado company Calavo has reported net revenues for the first quarter to the end of January of US$50.6m, up 6% from the corresponding quarter last year, but also recorded a net loss of $0.67m.

However, the first-quarter net loss was $0.88m lower than the $1.5m loss recorded in the first quarter of the previous financial year. Revenue growth was spurred by higher sales of California avocados and processed products, the company reported.

“I am pleased with Calavo’s progress in the first quarter, which is historically our smallest quarter and during which we receive the fewest pounds of California avocados,” said president and CEO Lee Cole. “Despite this seasonality, we packed and sold 5.5m more pounds of California fruit in the most recent quarter than in last year’s first period – an indicator of the anticipated record domestic crop to come in 2006 – while, most notably, momentum of avocado deliveries to our packing-houses accelerated throughout the quarter.”

Calavo reported that California avocado net sales rose by around 32% while first-quarter processed avocado sales rose by 38% to $2.2m.

International and perishable products revenues were boosted by an increase of 8.2m pounds, or 52%, in Mexican-grown avocado sales, which the company attributed primarily to the removal of US import limits in February 2005. However, higher volumes of Mexican avocados could not offset substantially lower quarterly sales of fruit from Chile and The Dominican Republic, as well as lower papaya sales.

Looking ahead, Cole said: “We view the second quarter of 2006 and beyond with great anticipation. By all indications, the volume of avocados arriving already into our California packing-houses points to a noteworthy year ahead.”