Avocado supplier Calavo Growers has booked a jump in half-year profits, with the company hailing  moves to diversify its product portfolio.

California-based Calavo posted net income of US$8.8m for the six months to 30 April, up sharply from US$2.3m a year earlier.

Calavo pointed to a near-doubling in gross margins as the group boosted its line of “commodity-produce offerings”.

The rise in earnings came despite a fall in sales, with revenues down at US$157.5m from US$171m a year earlier.

Second-quarter net income almost tripled from US$1.6m to US$4.5m. Sales slid to US$86.8m from US$98.8m a year earlier, a quarter in which Calavo recorded record sales.

Chairman, president and CEO Lee Cole claimed Calavo had put in an “outstanding” quarterly performance.

“Our strong performance is a formidable achievement in any business climate. However, Calavo’s results are all the more gratifying and impressive when measured in the context of weak broader economic conditions,” Cole said.