Harold Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our topline growth was primarily due to a 39% increase in lemon sales, partially offset by weaker lemon pricing due to colder weather in the U.S. during the last month of the quarter and lower orange pricing in the quarter. Our business is best viewed on an annual basis, which is why despite the lower pricing environment, we believe the underlying fundamentals of the business are strong and remain confident we will achieve our full year 2019 guidance. As we continue to expand and solidify our place as a global supplier of fresh citrus, through organic growth and acquisitions such as our recent joint venture and land acquisition in Argentina, we will continue to reduce the seasonal nature of our business. In addition, our real estate development project, Harvest at Limoneira, has now closed on 174 lot sales and we expect this project will generate meaningful equity earnings on our statement of operations during the second quarter of this year.”
Alex Teague, Senior Vice President, stated, "We are very excited to start off the first half of this year with a strategic move into Argentina, as we continue to look for ways to access new markets and networks to increase our production and distribution as part of our One World of CitrusTM initiative. This expansion of our global footprint into Argentina strengthens our ability to become a 365-day, 24/7 global supplier of fresh citrus to our valued customers around the world. In addition, we are pleased with the successful integration of our two acquisitions last year and are seeing great grower retention from the Oxnard Lemon acquisition and increased production capabilities.”
Fiscal Year 2019 First Quarter Results
For the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, total net revenue was $42.0 million, compared to total net revenue of $31.6 million in the first quarter of the previous fiscal year. Agribusiness revenue was $40.8 million, compared to $30.3 million in the first quarter last fiscal year, primarily due to stronger lemon sales. Rental operations revenue was $1.2 million, compared to $1.3 million in the first quarter of last fiscal year. There were no real estate development revenues in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 or 2018.
Agribusiness revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 includes $38.6 million in lemon sales, compared to $27.8 million of lemon sales during the same period of fiscal year 2018, with the increase primarily the result of higher volume partially offset by lower prices of fresh lemons sold. The lower pricing was due to cold weather affecting dining habits in certain areas of the U.S. and cheaper foreign fruit entering the market for the first quarter. Approximately 1,272,000 cartons of fresh lemons were sold during the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 at a $24.30 average price per carton compared to approximately 912,000 cartons sold at a $26.32 average price per carton during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018.
As anticipated, the Company recognized minimal avocado revenue in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, similar to the same period last fiscal year. The Company recognized $0.9 million of orange revenue in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, compared to $1.3 million in the same period of fiscal year 2018, primarily attributable to lower prices of oranges sold, partially offset by higher volume. Approximately 124,000 cartons of oranges were sold during the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 at a $7.63 average price per carton compared to approximately 104,000 cartons sold at a $12.91 average price per carton during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. Specialty citrus and other crop revenues were $1.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, compared to $1.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018.
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