Calavo Growers Inc. reported a 300-percent jump in profits for the first quarter despite one of the worst winters on local produce markets in recent memory.

The Santa Paula-based fresh produce packing and marketing company reported first quarter net income of $1.3 Million, (9 cents per share) compared to a loss of $665,000 (-5 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Revenues for the packing company rose 13 percent to $57.3 million, fueled by strong demand for avocados, the company said.

"Calavo is off to a formidable start in fiscal 2007, anchored by the best first-quarter operating performance in our history," said Chairman and Chief Executive Lee Cole in a statmenet. "We were paced by sharply stronger sales of Mexican-grown avocados that more than offset the seasonal ebb of California fruit."

Shares in Calavo were up 22 cents to $10.72 in Tuesday afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

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