Author: Matt Lamers

Aurora Cannabis increasingly looks to Europe, eyes first profit in early 2023 

Aurora Cannabis reported another significant quarterly and annual loss, but the Alberta-based marijuana producer said it’s on track to report a profit next year on the back of strong growth in the European medical market.

Aurora lost 618.7 million Canadian dollars ($461 million) in the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2022, bringing its loss for the financial year to CA$1.7 billion.

The company attributed most of the net loss to impairment charges during the quarter related to goodwill, intangibles assets and property, plant and equipment.

Sales were largely in line with analysts’ expectations.

Net revenue for the quarter was CA$50.2 million, 8% lower than the same period last year.

However, the medical cannabis business, where Aurora sees its future, continued to experience steady growth.

The company’s medical cannabis net revenue was CA$36.6 million in the fourth quarter, marking a 4% year-over-year increase.

The medical segment accounted for 73% of Aurora’s fourth-quarter sales, as the company continues to pivot from the cutthroat recreational marijuana sector.

Aurora’s share of recreational cannabis revenue is declining.

Adult-use sales in the fourth quarter were CA$12.6 million, accounting for 25% of revenue.

In the same period last year, recreational cannabis sales made up 36% of sales.

In a phone interview with MJBizDaily, CEO Miguel Martin said Aurora’s medical business is “healthy, both domestically and internationally.”

“Great margins, great upside. The medical business is very strong.”

“Our goal is to be the global leader in medical cannabis,” he said.

Aurora said it’s the No. 1 Canadian producer in global medical cannabis revenues and expects the segment will be a key driver for future profitability.

The company’s international cannabis sales were CA$61.8 million in the year ended June 30, 2022, about 82% above the previous year’s figure.

Almost all of that growth occurred in the European Union, where Aurora’s net revenue in the financial year reached CA$61.5 million.

Europe is increasingly important for Aurora.

The continent accounted for 28% of Aurora’s annual net revenue in fiscal 2022, up from about 13% in 2021.

The CEO also said Aurora lost approximately CA$3 million stemming from wholesale disruptions in British Columbia and Ontario.

“Ontario’s not even our biggest province, so I think for others it will be worse. It was pretty disruptive,” Miguel said.

The respective wholesalers, the BC Liquor Distribution Branch and Ontario Cannabis Store, have since resumed operations.

Aurora had CA$488.8 million in cash as of June 30, 2022.

Shares of Aurora trade as ACB on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq.

However, the Edmonton company recently was deleted from the S&P/TSX Composite Index, the primary gauge for Canada-based, TSE-listed companies.

Matt Lamers can be reached at matt.lamers@mjbizdaily.com.

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