Big Money – Aurora Generates nearly a $100m in Fourth Quarter

EDMONTON, AB – September 11, 2019 – Aurora Cannabis Inc. (the "Company" or "Aurora") (NYSE | TSX: ACB), the Canadian company defining the future of cannabis worldwide, announced today its financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2019.

In 2019 Aurora took its place as the global leader in cannabis production, research, innovation, and international market development. We are executing on all our strategic priorities.

Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora

Booth continued to say that "our best in class cultivation methods allow us to grow consistent, high-quality cannabis at scale. Because of this, we've delivered solid revenue growth in the fourth quarter. We are working to extend our reach in the U.S. markets. Our partnership with the UFC is a basis to explore CBD-from-hemp and hemp food products. We are also exploring additional opportunities and leveraging our Strategic Advisor. We are focused on building a sustainable, high-margin business while providing patients and consumers with access to safe and reliable medicine."

Glen Ibbott, CFO, added, "We continue to see strong growth in cannabis revenues in both medical and consumer categories. Our cultivation execution continues to drive production costs lower and improve gross margins. Aurora's diversified product portfolio remains in demand with patients and consumers alike. With the Canadian launch of derivative products in the coming months, we have made the necessary investments to ensure readiness and focus on a variety of value-added products. We are very excited to supply an expanded consumer market with premium cannabis and new product forms."

Fourth Quarter 2019 Highlights

(Unless otherwise stated, comparisons are made between Fiscal Q4 2019 and Q3 2019 results and are in Canadian dollars)
  • Net cannabis revenue up 61% sequentially to $94.6 million 
    • Canadian consumer cannabis revenue up 52% to $44.9 million
    • Medical cannabis revenue up 10% to $29.7 million
    • Wholesale revenues of $20.1 million                                                                                        
  • Cash cost to produce per gram sold declined 20% sequentially to $1.14 per gram in Q4 2019.
  • Production volume increased 86% sequentially to 29,034 kgs.
  • Gross margin on cannabis net revenue increased by 3% to 58% sequentially.
  • Aurora's medical patient base expanded 10% to 84,729 sequentially. As at the date of this release, Aurora has approximately 89,700 active registered patients, a further increase of 6%.
  • Adjusted EBITDA loss of $11.7 million represents an improvement of 68% compared to $36.6 million in Q3 2019.

Subsequent Events

  • Closed an amended and upsized $360 million secured credit facility which includes an accordion feature that enables Aurora to upsize the facility by approximately $40 million,
  • Sold its remaining 28,833,334 shares of The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd ("TGOD"), at a price of $3.00 per share for aggregate gross proceeds of $86.5 million, representing an approximate 50% internal rate of return for the Company.

Full Year Fiscal 2019 Highlights

  • Net revenue of $247.9 million, up 349% compared to the prior year.
  • Gross margin on cannabis net revenue of 55% in fiscal 2019 versus 65% in fiscal 2018.
  • Kilograms produced and kilograms sold of 57,442 kgs and 36,628 kgs, up 920% and 629% respectively compared to fiscal 2018.

Consolidated net revenue increased 52% to $98.9 million in Q4 2019 as compared to $65.1 million in the prior quarter. Consumer cannabis revenues were $44.9 million in Q4 2019, an increase of 52% from the prior quarter and contributed 45% to total consolidated net revenue. Canadian medical cannabis net revenues increased to $25.2 million in Q4 2019, up 9% over the prior quarter. Revenue growth was primarily driven by additional production capacity and supply available for sale from Aurora Sky and Aurora River (Bradford).

The average net selling price of cannabis decreased by $1.08 per gram over the prior quarter from $6.40 in Q3 2019 to $5.32 in Q4 2019. This decrease is primarily attributable to the increase in sale volumes to consumer and bulk wholesale markets which yield lower average net selling prices as compared to medical markets.

Gross margin on cannabis net revenue increased to 58% in Q4 2019, compared to 55% in the prior quarter. Gross margin improvement was driven by the continued decline in cash cost to produce per gram and higher gross margins achieved on bulk sales.

During Q4 2019, Aurora produced 29,034 kilograms of cannabis as compared to 15,590 kilograms in the prior quarter. The 86.2% increase in production output was primarily due to the additional production capacity added by Aurora Sky, River (Bradford), and Ridge (Markham) facilities. Extraction capacity increased from 20,400 kilograms to 26,400 kilograms in Q4 2019.  Subsequent to the quarter-end, Aurora's annual extraction capacity further increased to 45,600 kilograms.

Q4 2019 SG&A increased by 9% to $72.9 million, compared to the prior quarter. The change was primarily driven by an increase in fulfillment and shipping costs related to the growth in consumer cannabis sales and continued investment in sales initiatives, distribution network, and partnerships to conduct research, develop products, and drive brand awareness. Aurora will continue to invest in infrastructure and talent required for market share growth in the global medical and consumer cannabis markets but will remain intensely focused on doing this as efficiently as possible.

In Q4 2019, adjusted EBITDA loss improved 68% to $11.7 million from $36.6 million in the prior quarter. Developing a profitable and robust global cannabis company is extremely important to Aurora. In fiscal 2019 Aurora was focused on excellence in execution, and the Company's KPIs show its success in this regard. Furthermore, Aurora has addressed previously identified production bottlenecks and continues to see strong sell-through of the Company's products at the retail level. However, the Canadian consumer channel continues to experience challenges at the retail level in key markets and resolution of this issue is beyond the Company's control. Aurora is working closely with all our regulatory and channel partners to streamline distribution as the Company continues to track toward positive adjusted EBITDA on a consolidated basis.

The Company's operating facilities current annualized run-rate production capacity is in excess of 150,000 kg per annum, based on planted rooms. As the industry leader in purpose-built cultivation, Aurora is focused on producing a consistent supply of high-quality, low-cost product to meet evolving market demand. Aurora is well-positioned to respond to market conditions quickly with shorter lead times, increased harvest cycles and high plant yields.

Outlook 

The global cannabis and hemp markets represent a significant opportunity for Aurora and the Company will continue to make the necessary investments today to build long-term value for shareholders. However, Aurora will take a balanced approach to these investments with a focus on operating a sustainable and profitable business.

The introduction of new product formats to the Canadian consumer market this fall represents a significant opportunity for the Company. Aurora expects to have a robust product line-up ready to launch in December. Given the very early stage of development of the consumer market in Canada and international medical markets, management anticipates that quarter to quarter sales volumes and revenues may be volatile. The Company expects adjusted EBITDA to continue to improve in the future due to expected revenue growth, improvements in gross margin and prudent SG&A growth.

The passing of the U.S. Farm Act presents new opportunities in the largest cannabis and hemp-derived CBD market globally, and as such Aurora is committed to establishing a substantial operating footprint in the U.S. As part of the U.S. market strategy, the Company is considering its stakeholders and how various state and federal regulations will affect its business prospects. A number of alternatives to grow Aurora's presence in the U.S. market are under evaluation and the Company is committed to only engage in activities which are permissible under both state and federal laws. Management believes there are currently market opportunities that are legal at both state and federal levels that can add operating cash flows and be critical pillars of Aurora's strategy and long-term success.

Disclaimer: Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

About Aurora 

Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 625,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 25 countries across five continents, Aurora is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across every key segment of the value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding and genetics research, cannabis and hemp production, derivatives, high value-add product development, home cultivation, wholesale and retail distribution.

Highly differentiated from its peers, Aurora has established a uniquely advanced, consistent and efficient production strategy, based on purpose-built facilities that integrate leading-edge technologies across all processes, defined by extensive automation and customization, resulting in the massive scale production of high-quality consistent product. Designed to be replicable and scalable globally, our production facilities are designed to produce cannabis at significant scale, with high quality, industry-leading yields, and low-per gram production costs.

Each of Aurora's facilities is built to meet European Union Good Manufacturing Practices ("EU GMP") standards. Certification has been granted to Aurora's first production facility in Mountain View County, the MedReleaf Markham facility, and its wholly owned European medical cannabis distributor Aurora Deutschland. All Aurora facilities are designed and built to the EU GMP standard.

In addition to the Company's rapid organic growth and strong execution on strategic M&A, which to date includes 17 wholly owned subsidiary companies – MedReleaf, CanvasRX, Peloton Pharmaceutical, Aurora Deutschland, H2 Biopharma, BC Northern Lights, Larssen Greenhouses, CanniMed Therapeutics, Anandia, HotHouse Consulting, MED Colombia, Agropro, Borela, ICC Labs, Whistler, Chemi Pharmaceutical, and Hempco – Aurora is distinguished by its reputation as a partner and employer of choice in the global cannabis sector, having invested in and established strategic partnerships with a range of leading innovators, including: Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV: RTI), Cann Group Ltd. (ASX: CAN), Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (CSE: MWM), Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO), CTT Pharmaceuticals (OTCC: CTTH), Alcanna Inc. (TSX: CLIQ), High Tide Inc. (CSE: HITI), EnWave Corporation (TSXV: ENW), Capcium Inc. (private), Evio Beauty Group (private), and Wagner Dimas (private).

Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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