EDMONTON, AB, Sep. 27, 2021 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- NASDAQ | TSX: ACB
-- #1 Canadian LP in Global Medical Cannabis; Total Medical Cannabis Net Revenue Rose 9% Compared to Prior Year; Strong Adjusted Gross Margin before FVA of 68% -- Business Transformation Plan on Track; Reiterates Annual Cost Savings of $60 Million to $80 Million, Providing Clear Pathway to Adjusted EBITDA Profitability -- Balance Sheet Remains Strong with $440.9 Million of Cash at June 30, 2021; Working Capital Improves by $404.3 Million Compared to Prior Year -- Adjusted EBITDA Loss, Excluding Restructuring Costs, Narrows to $13.9 Million, a $17.6 Million Improvement Compared to Prior Year -- Total Cannabis Net Revenue, Net of Provisions, of $54.8 Million Compared to $55.2 Million in the Prior Quarter, and $67.5 Million in the Year-Ago Period
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (the "Company" or "Aurora") /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB +0.15% /zigman2/quotes/203734337/delayed CA:ACB -1.29% , the Canadian company defining the future of cannabinoids worldwide, today announced its financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and full year fiscal 2021 ended June 30, 2021.
"We are very pleased with our strategic and financial progress in growing our high-margin medical revenue, rationalizing expenses, strengthening our balance sheet, and reducing our cash burn during fiscal year 2021. Given ongoing challenges in the Canadian adult recreational market, our broad diversification across domestic medical, international medical, and adult recreational segments provides us with underlying strength, stability, and growth opportunities in an evolving industry for global cannabinoids. Additionally, our enviable leadership position as the #1 Canadian LP in global medical cannabis by revenue on a trailing twelve-month basis, supported by regulatory and compliance expertise, is a tailwind that we expect to enable us to ultimately expand into global adult recreational as medical regimes evolve" stated Miguel Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora Cannabis.
"During the quarter, we delivered another strong yet steady performance in domestic medical, the largest federally regulated medical market globally, exceptional year-over-year growth in our high-margin international medical segment, where we remain the #2 Canadian LP by revenue on a trailing twelve-month basis, and quarterly sequential growth in adult recreational which included higher sales of premium cultivars. We are now delighted to announce a long-term supply agreement with Cantek in Israel that we expect to provide us with a steady stream of high-margin revenue that could also evolve into a larger partnership over time. We further believe our Canadian adult recreational segment is poised for recovery due to our product portfolio enhancements coupled with an acceleration of new store openings and rising consumer demand," he continued.
"We have positioned ourselves for long-term success by delivering further improvement in our industry-leading Adjusted gross margin and substantially narrowing our Adjusted EBITDA loss compared to the year-ago period. With annual cost savings of approximately $60 to $80 million across selling, general and administrative ("SG&A"), production cost, facility and logistic expenses, we have a clear pathway to achieve Adjusted EBITDA profitability. Importantly, our considerable cash balance of $440.9 million, substantial improvement in working capital, and strong balance sheet support our organic growth and can be utilized for opportunistic M&A, particularly in the U.S," he concluded.
Fourth Quarter 2021 Highlights (Unless otherwise stated, comparisons are made between fiscal Q4 2021 and Q4 2020 results and are in Canadian dollars)
-- Medical cannabis net revenue(1) was $35.0 million, a 9% increase from the prior year period. The increase was primarily attributable to continued growth in the international medical business, 88% over the prior year comparative period, as the Company continued to grow new, high margin medical markets. -- Adjusted gross margin before fair value adjustments on medical cannabis net revenue(1) was 68% versus 64% in the prior year, as a result of overall reduction in production costs due to the closure of non-core facilities as part of our business transformation plan and higher sales coming from our international sales, which yield higher margins.
-- Consumer cannabis net revenue(1 )was $19.5 million ($20.2 million excluding provisions), a 45% decrease from $35.3 million ($37.1 million excluding provisions) in the prior year. This was due primarily to a reduction in orders from Provinces in response to slower consumer demand, reflecting the impact of lockdown restrictions related to COVID-19. Sequentially, consumer cannabis net revenue increased 8% over the prior quarter mainly due to completion of the transition of our fixed sales force to Great North and a $2.5 million reduction in actual net returns, price adjustments and provisions as the company completed its product swap initiative to replace low quality product with higher potency product at the provinces. -- Adjusted gross margin before fair value adjustments on consumer cannabis net revenue was 31% vs 36% in the prior year period. This was primarily driven by an increase in cost of sales due to under-utilized capacity at Aurora Sky as a result of the scaling back production (expected to partially reverse in future quarters), offset by an increase in the consumer cannabis sales mix attributed to our core and premium brands, contributing to an increase in our average net selling price per gram of dried cannabis.
-- Adjusted gross margin before fair value adjustments on cannabis net revenue1 was 54% in Q4 2021 versus 49% in the prior year period and 44% in Q3 2021. The increase in Adjusted gross margin compared to Q4 2020 is due primarily to a shift in sales mix towards the medical market which commands higher average net selling prices and margins. -- Adjusted EBITDA(1) loss improved to $19.3 million in Q4 2021 ($13.9 million loss excluding restructuring charges) compared to the prior year Adjusted EBITDA loss(1) of $33.3 million ($31.5 million loss excluding restructuring charges) primarily driven by the substantial decrease in SG&A and R&D expenses and an increase in gross margins. -- Q4 2021 total cannabis net revenue(1) was $54.8 million, essentially flat sequentially, and a 19% decrease in over fiscal Q4 of the prior year. -- Reflecting the shift in mix toward our medical businesses, the Q4 2021 average net selling price per gram of dried cannabis(1) increased to $5.11 per gram from $3.60 in Q4 2020 and $5.00 in Q3 2021. This excludes the impact of bulk wholesale of excess mid-potency cannabis flower at clear-out pricing.
Selling, General and Administrative ("SG&A"):
-- SG&A, including Research and Development ("R&D"), was $44.8 million, excluding $5.2 million in severance and restructuring costs ($49.9 million reported), down $19.1 million or 30% from the prior year as a result of our business transformation plan.
Operational Efficiency Plan, Balance Sheet Strength, & Working Capital Improvement
Aurora has identified cash savings of $60 million to $80 million. We expect to deliver $30 million to $40 million of annualized cash savings within the next year, and the remainder by the end of Q2 fiscal 2023.
___________________________________ (1) These terms are non-GAAP measures, see "Non-GAAP Measures" below.
Approximately 60% of the savings are expected to be driven out of our network through asset consolidation, and operational and supply chain efficiencies. In fact, last week we announced the centralization of much of our Canadian manufacturing processes to our River facility in Bradford, Ontario and the resultant closure of our western Canada manufacturing facility. The remaining 40% of savings are intended to be sourced through SG&A; a portion of those savings will be via insurance structures that are already partially executed.
These cash savings will be reflected in our P&L either as they occur for SG&A savings, or as inventory is drawn down for production-related savings. These efficiencies are incremental to the approximately $300 million of total cost reductions achieved since the announcement of the Company's business transformation plan in February 2020.
Aurora materially improved its balance sheet during fiscal year 2021 through a number of purposeful actions including repaying the credit facility in full in June 2021, which resulted in interest and principal repayment reductions of approximately $25 million annually. The Company views a strong balance sheet as critical to operating the business, executing its strategic plans, and pursuing growth opportunities in an unconstrained manner, including within the U.S.
At June 30, 2021 Aurora has a cash balance of approximately $440.9 million, comprised of $421.5 million of cash and cash equivalents and $19.4 million in restricted cash, no secured term debt, and access to US$1 billion of capital under its shelf prospectus.
The Company's focus on realizing operational efficiencies and ability to manage cash has greatly improved operating cash flow; reducing the need for incremental capital. In Q4 2021, Aurora managed cash flow tightly using $7.8 million in cash to fund operations, including working capital investments and restructuring and severance payments of $5.1 million. Cash inflow from capital expenditures, net of $17.5 million disposals and government grant income, in Q4 2021 was $6.2 million versus $32.8 million of cash used in Q4 2020 and $12.2 million of cash used in Q3 2021. Cash used in operations and for capital expenditures are crucial metrics in Aurora's drive toward generating sustainable positive free cash flow, and both have improved significantly over the past year. The Company's ongoing business transformation, with the additional cost efficiency savings described earlier, is expected to move the operating cash flow metric in a positive direction over the coming quarters.
Fiscal Q4 2021 Cash Use
The main components of cash source and use in Q4 2021 were as follows:
($ thousands) Q4 2021 Q4 2020(4) Q3 2021(4) --- Cash Flow --- Cash, Opening $520,238 $230,208 $434,386 Cash used in operations including working ($7,840) ($64,199) ($66,215) capital Capital expenditures, net of disposals and $6,230 ($32,789) ($12,320) government grant income Debt and interest payments ($90,141)(3) ($52,979) ($7,766) --- Cash use ($91,751) ($149,967) ($86,301) Proceeds raised from sale of marketable 11,929 33,673 $- securities and investments in associates Proceeds raised through debt Proceeds raised through equity financing $435 $48,265 $172,153(1) --- Cash raised $12,364 $81,938 $172,153 Cash, Ending $440,851 $162,179 $520,238(2) ---
(1) Includes impact of foreign exchange rates on USD cash raised from financing (2) Includes restricted cash of $50.0M for Q3 2021 held as cash collateral under the BMO Credit Facility. (3) Includes $88.7 million full principal repayment on the BMO Credit Facility. As of June 30, 2021, the BMO Credit Facility has been fully settled and discharged. Previously reported amounts have been retroactively recast for the biological assets and inventory non-material prior period error. Refer to the "Significant Accounting Policies and Judgments" section (4) in Note 2(h) of the Financial Statements.
Refer to the "Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows" in the "Consolidated Financial Statements" for our cash flow statements prepared in accordance with IAS 7 - Statement of Cash Flows.
($ thousands, except Operational Results) Q4 2021 Q4 2020(5)(6) $ Change % Change Q3 2021 (5)(6) $ Change % Change --- Financial Results --- Total net revenue (1) $54,825 $68,426 ($13,601) (20) $55,161 ($336) (1) % % Cannabis net revenue (1)(2a) $54,825 $67,492 ($12,667) (19) $55,161 ($336) (1) % % Medical cannabis net revenue (2a) $35,022 $32,226 $2,796 9 $36,378 ($1,356) (4) % % Consumer cannabis net revenue (1)(2a) $19,514 $35,266 ($15,752) (45) % % $18,023 $1,491 8 Adjusted gross margin before FV adjustments 54 % 49 % N/A 5 44 % N/A 10 % % on cannabis net revenue (2b) Adjusted gross margin before FV adjustments 68 % 64 % N/A 4 53 % N/A 15 % % on medical cannabis net revenue (2b) Adjusted gross margin before FV adjustments 31 % 36 % N/A (5) 33 % N/A (2) % % on consumer cannabis net revenue (2b) SG&A expense $46,902 $57,969 ($11,067) (19) % % $41,684 $5,218 13 R&D expense $3,034 $7,645 ($4,611) (60) $3,398 ($364) (11) % % Adjusted EBITDA (2c) ($19,256) ($33,349) $14,093 42 ($23,853) $4,597 19 % % Balance Sheet --- Working capital $549,517 $145,258 $404,259 278 $646,310 ($96,793) (15) % % Cannabis inventory and biological assets(3) (2)(3)(7) $120,297 $135,973 ($15,676) (12) % % $102,637 $17,660 17 Total assets $2,604,731 $2,779,921 ($175,190) (6) $2,839,155 ($234,424) (8) % % Operational Results - Cannabis --- Average net selling price of dried cannabis $5.11 $3.60 $1.51 42 $5.00 $0.11 2 % % excluding bulk sales (2) Kilograms sold (4) 11,346 16,748 (5,402) (32) 13,520 (2,174) (16) % % ---
(1) Includes the impact of actual and expected product returns and price adjustments (Q4 2021 - $0.7 million; Q3 2021 -$3.2 million; Q4 2020 -$1.9 million). (2) These terms are defined in the "Cautionary Statement Regarding Certain Non- GAAP Performance Measures" of the MD&A. Refer to the following MD&A sections for reconciliation of non-GAAP measures to the IFRS equivalent measure: a. Refer to the "Revenue" section for a reconciliation of cannabis net revenue to the IFRS equivalent. b. Refer to the "Cost of Sales and Gross Margin" section for reconciliation to the IFRS equivalent. c. Refer to the "Adjusted EBITDA" section for reconciliation to the IFRS equivalent. (3) Represents total biological assets and cannabis inventory, exclusive of merchandise, accessories, supplies and consumables. (4) The kilograms sold is offset by the grams returned during the period. (5) As a result of the Company's dissolution and divestment of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. ("Hempco"), Aurora Larssen Projects ("ALPS"), Aurora Hemp Europe ("AHE"), the operations of Hempco, ALPS and AHE have been presented as discontinued operations and the Company's operational results have been retroactively restated, as required. Refer to Note 12(b) of the Financial Statements for more information about the divestitures. (6) Amounts have been retroactively recast for the biological assets and inventory non- material prior period error. Refer to the "Significant Accounting Policies and Judgments" section in Note 2(h) of the Financial Statements.
Aurora will host a conference call today, September 27, 2021, to discuss these results. Miguel Martin, Chief Executive Officer, and Glen Ibbott, Chief Financial Officer, will host the call starting at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time / 3:00 p.m. Mountain Time. A question and answer session will follow management's presentation.
Conference Call Details
DATE: Tuesday, September 27, 2021 TIME: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time | 3:00 p.m. Mountain Time WEBCAST: http://public.viavid.com/index.php?id=146159
Investors may submit questions in advance or during the conference call itself through same weblink listed above. This weblink has also been posted to the Company's "Investor Info" link at https://investor.auroramj.com/ under "News & Events".