Aurora Announces Q1 2017 Results

TSXV:ACB

VANCOUVER, Nov. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Aurora Cannabis Inc. (the "Company" or "Aurora") (TSXV: ACB) (OTCQB: ACBFF) (Frankfurt: 21P; WKN: A1C4WM) today announced its financial and operational results for the quarter ended September 30, 2016.

Operational Highlights and Recent Developments Subsequent to Q1 2017

  • Aurora further strengthened its balance sheet with a current cash position of approximately $50 million, an increase since September 30, 2016 resulting from approximately $34 million in new equity and debt financings;
  • Announced plans to construct a new 600,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility (subsequently increased to at least 650,000 square foot), increasing total production capacity to more than 70,000 kg annually. Management believes the state-of-the-art nature of the new facility will contribute to significant savings in production costs on a per gram basis;
  • 10,800 active registered patients as at November 28, 2016, reflecting what management believes is the fastest patient registration rate in the industry after commencement of commercial operations;
  • Achieved new sales milestones:
    • Continued sales pace in excess of $1 million per month
    • November, 2016 on track to be record month, with product sales projected in excess of 200 kilograms and gross revenue in excess of $1.6 million
    • Achieved a seven-day sales record between November 18 and 24, 2016, with more than 62 kilograms sold over that period
  • Aurora well positioned for the future with approximately $30 million in additional gross cash proceeds remain available from remaining warrants, stock options and compensation options/warrants;
  • Converted $15 million of 10% convertible debentures into common shares.
  • Migrated listing from CSE to TSX-V, which the Company anticipates will increase liquidity and its potential investor audience;
  • Further strengthened board governance with the appointment of Michael Singer as Chairman of the board and the appointment of Joseph Del Moral and Barry Fishman as members of the board;
  • Appointed Cam Battley as Executive Vice President;
  • Began establishment of onsite analytical laboratory, to accelerate product time to market and increase sales capacity;
  • CanvasRx currently exceeds 13,000 registered patients, including more than 2,500 patients registered with Aurora as of today, representing a growth in patient registration in excess of 30% since being acquired by Aurora;

Q1 2017 Operational Highlights

  • Revenues of $3.1 million, as compared to $0 (nil) for the 2015 comparable period, and up 151.7% or $1.2 million from Q4 2016;
    • Sold 435,720 grams of cannabis, and up 117.5% from Q4 2016;
  • Completed strategic acquisition of CanvasRx, the country's largest medical cannabis patient outreach and counselling service, with 19 locations in Ontario and Alberta;
  • Significantly strengthened the balance sheet with $40.8 million in new financings;
  • Repaid short-term and long-term loans totaling approximately $9.5 million in full;
  • Converted approximately $2.2 million of 10% convertible notes into common shares;
  • Appointed Amy Stephenson as Interim CFO;
  • Industry leading innovation with first mobile app launched for purchase of legal cannabis:
    • To date downloaded by approximately 17,000 individuals, averaging 60 secure system logins per hour during business hours from registered Aurora patients;
    • Since launch of the app, patient ordering by phone has been reduced by 33%;
  • First LP to commence same-day delivery, now available in two locations, with approximately 85% of customers in Calgary, and 75% of patients in Edmonton opting for this service, and more than 10,000 same-day packages shipped to date.

"Our industry-leading pace of patient registration, reflected in our rapid revenue growth, is a clear validation of the strength of our brand and our ability to successfully execute on our business strategy," said Terry Booth, CEO. "Based on our operational strength and our position as one of the recognized leaders on the capital markets in the cannabis sector, we were able to significantly strengthen our balance sheet both during and subsequent to Q1 2017.  Our current cash balance of $50 million is one of the strongest in the sector, and positions us exceptionally well to continue executing on our growth strategy, particularly with the pending federal legalization of adult consumer use, and our plan to construct one of the largest envisioned cannabis facilities in the sector. The Aurora Standard resonates strongly with patients and the cannabis community, and we will continue to build on our leadership position through production expansion, ongoing innovation, exceptional products, and best-in-class customer care." 

Financials

A comprehensive discussion of Aurora's financials and operations are provided in the Company's Management Discussion & Analysis and Financial Statements filed with SEDAR and can be found on www.sedar.com

Revenues

Sales of 435,720 grams of cannabis for the three month period ending September 30, 2016, accounted for revenues of $3.1 million, as compared to nil ($0) for the same period in the previous year.  Sequentially, compared to Q4 2016, cannabis sales volume (in grams) was up 117.5% and up 151.7% in terms of dollar revenue, reflecting an increase in the average price per gram of product sold.

Aurora commenced selling medical cannabis products on January 5, 2016.  Revenues generated to date reflect what management believes is the fastest growth rate of active registered patients in the industry as the company scales up to full production capacity.  Of special note, Aurora uses the metric of active registered patients, which as at November 27 stood at 10,700, i.e. not counting patients who have not placed an order for the previous four months, as opposed to total registered patients.

Gross Margin

As a result of non-cash biological asset accounting during the quarter, the adjusted gross margin was $0.1 million, as compared to $0 (nil) for the same quarter in the prior year when no sales were recorded, and an increase from a negative $0.2 million in the prior quarter (Q4 2016).  The gross margin for Q1 2017 includes an accounting charge related to the fair value recognition of biological asset of $1.3 million. Charges to gross margin in relation to changes in fair value are a non-cash accounting treatment under IFRS.

General & Administrative Costs

General and administration costs increased by $0.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016, attributable primarily to the increase in corporate and general administrative activities resulting from the acquisition of CanvasRx, additional costs associated with maintaining the Company's TSX-V listing and costs associated with negotiating and completing equity and debt financings totaling $38 million, as well as signing a $5 million draw-down equity facility.

Sales & Marketing

Sales and marketing increased by $1.4 million for the period under review as compared to the same period in the prior year, primarily due to the commencement of commercial operations and sales of medical cannabis.

Net Loss

The Company recorded a net loss of $5.6 million for the quarter, attributable to a decrease in unrealized gain on changes in fair value of biological assets, increased expenditures due to the commencement of commercial operations, and increased corporate activities related to the acquisition of CanvasRx and various equity and debt financings. 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As at September 30, 2016, working capital was $23.2 million, as compared to a deficiency of $2.8 million as at June 30, 2016. The $26.0 million increase in working capital was primarily attributable to an increase in cash and cash equivalents of $23.9 million, offset partially by a decrease in short term loans of $4.4 million.

The increase in cash balance was attributable to the successful completion of a number of financing initiatives, as follows:

  • $23 million in completed brokered subscription receipt equity financing;
  • $15 million in completed private placement of 10% unsecured convertible debentures; and

Additionally, the Company generated approximately $2.8 million in additional gross cash proceeds from exercise of warrants, stock and compensation options. The increase in cash and cash equivalents generated from financings was offset partially by net cash used for operations of $0.9 million and investments of $4.0 million.

Subsequent to quarter-end, the Company generated approximately $34 million in new financings as follows:

    • $25 million in completed brokered private placement of 8% unsecured convertible debentures; and
    • Receipts of approximately $9 million from the exercise of warrants, stock options and compensation options/warrants.

Presently, approximately $30 million in potential additional gross cash proceeds remain available from the exercise of warrants, stock options and compensation options/warrants.

Details of the capital initiatives described above can be found in the Company's filings on www.sedar.com

Outstanding Share Data

As of the date of the MD&A, the Company had the following securities issued and outstanding:



Securities (1)

November 28, 2016

Shares

270,631,918

Options

9,323,089

Warrants

42,604,000

Compensation options

2,342,000

Convertible debentures

12,500,000

(1) See the Company's Interim Financial Statements for a detailed description of these securities.

 

Outlook

Aurora's business strategy is to continue accelerating its penetration of the Canadian cannabis market, achieve its Health Canada sales license for derivative products (cannabis oils) and launch derivatives sales, transition to profitability in the short-term, and begin a major facility expansion for additional production capacity. When the federal government passes legislation legalizing the consumer use of cannabis, the Company anticipates participating in the non-medical consumer market, and will envision further production capacity expansion to meet future market demand for cannabis products.

About Aurora

Aurora's wholly-owned subsidiary, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., is a licensed producer of medical cannabis pursuant to Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) and operates a 55,200 square foot, expandable, state-of-the-art production facility in Mountain View County, Alberta, Canada. Aurora trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "ACB".

On behalf of the Board of Directors, AURORA CANNABIS INC.

Terry Booth, CEO

This news release contains statements about the Company's expectations regarding production capacity, production yields and other aspects of its anticipated future operations that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them as actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are estimates reflecting the Company's best judgment based upon current information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that other factors will not affect the accuracy of such forward-looking statements. Such factors include but are not limited to the Company's ability to obtain the necessary financing and the general impact of financial market conditions, the yield from marijuana growing operations, product demand, changes in prices of required commodities, competition, government regulations and other risks set out in the Company's management's discussion and analysis filed on SEDAR. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, except as required by law.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. 

SOURCE Aurora Cannabis Inc.

For further information: Cam Battley, Executive Vice President, +1.905.864.5525, cam@auroramj.com, www.auroramj.com; Marc Lakmaaker, NATIONAL Equicom, +1.416.848.1397, mlakmaaker@national.ca


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