Macadamia grower
posts $241,000 loss

Star-Bulletin staff

ML Macadamia Orchards LP lost $241,000, or 3 cents a share, in the second quarter of this year, compared to a profit of $702,000, or 9 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.


Revenues of $662,000 were down 69.9 percent from a year-earlier $2.2 million.

The 2001 revenue figure had been boosted by $1 million paid by the orchard company's exclusive customer, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp., after a court ruling in favor of ML Macadamia. The year-to-year comparison also was affected by weather changes in the islands, which altered the timing of this year's nut harvest.

The partnership said yesterday that its revenue from nuts came to $88,000 in the latest quarter, down 81.1 percent from nut revenue of $466,000 in the year-earlier quarter. The money ML Macadamia got from working land owned by others fell 17.5 percent, to $574,000 from a year-earlier $696,000.

On the positive side, the partnership said the Kau area of the Big Island, where most of its 4,000 acres of orchards are located, had plenty of rain through the first half of this year, creating a promising outlook for the crop. Meanwhile Australia, Hawaii's big macadamia competitor, has had unusually bad weather in its growing area and its crop should be significantly smaller than usual.

That should mean lower imports of Australian nuts into the United States and higher prices, ML Macadamia said.

Its customer, the processor and wholesaler Mauna Loa Macadamia, has now paid in full the $5.4 million it owed for nuts delivered in the last quarter of 2001 and also has paid $1.8 million for nuts delivered in the first quarter of this year.

ML Macadamia Orchards is a partnership whose shares, technically known as Class A partnership units, are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NUT. The shares closed at $3.33 yesterday, down 15 cents, before the earnings report was issued.

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