Aurora Announces Q4 2016 and Full Financial Year 2016 Results

TSX-V:ACB

VANCOUVER, Oct. 27, 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 and fiscal year ended June 30, 2016.

Q4 and Fiscal 2016 Operational highlights

  • In November 2015, Aurora's wholly-owned subsidiary, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., was granted a license from Health Canada to sell medicinal cannabis pursuant to the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) (as of August 24, 2016 superseded by the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR));
  • The Company commenced product sales on January 5, 2016;
  • In February 2016, Aurora's wholly-owned subsidiary, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., received approval from Health Canada to produce derivative cannabis products;
  • In June 2016, Aurora announced that the Company entered into a non-binding agreement for a draw-down equity facility with Alumina Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm of up to $5,000,000. Although the Company has not drawn down on this facility, it provides additional financial leverage available for potential strategic opportunities if and when required;
  • Further strengthened operating and tactical capabilities with key senior management hires, as well as with the addition of several new independent directors with deep industry experience.

Subsequent and Recent Developments

  • Migrated listing from CSE to TSX-V, which the company anticipates will increase its potential investor audience;
  • Raised up to approximately $68 million in additional capital, resulting in a significantly strengthened balance sheet, providing liquidity to pursue all the Company's operational and strategic initiatives;
  • 9,000 active registered patients as at October 27, 2016, reflecting what management believes is the fastest patient registration rate in the industry after commencement of commercial operations;
  • Currently generating in excess of $1 million in gross monthly revenues;
  • Completed the acquisition of CanvasRx, Canada's largest medical cannabis counseling network with over 10,000 registered patients;
  • Announced the planned 600,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility expansion (subsequently increased to 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;
  • Launched same-day delivery to registered patients in Calgary and Edmonton;
  • First LP to launch a mobile application for ordering medical cannabis;
  • Strengthened Board and Management
    • Amy Stephenson –  Interim CFO
    • Michael Singer – Independent Chairman of the Board
    • Barry Fishman – Independent Board Member
    • Joseph Del Moral – Board Member

"Aurora has firmly established itself as a leader and innovator in the cannabis industry," said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. "Since beginning commercial operations in January 2016, we have experienced rapid revenue growth, achieved a remarkable patient registration rate, raised substantial capital towards the execution of our operational and strategic initiatives, and significantly enhanced our balance sheet, with one of the strongest cash positions in the sector."

"We have also expanded and enhanced our management team and board with highly accomplished professionals, providing more depth and breadth, as well as further strengthening our corporate governance," added Mr. Booth. "In preparation for the tremendous growth we anticipate in this market and for our Company, we announced our plans to increase production capacity to approximately 70,000 kilograms per year via the construction of an advanced, automated greenhouse facility that represents the cutting edge in agricultural technology. Innovation remains a key aspect of our strategy to strengthen the brand associated with the Aurora Standard of excellence in production, operations and customer service. We believe our results to date validate our ambitious growth strategy, and we are extremely well positioned to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in the cannabis sector."

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

For the three and twelve month periods ending June 30, 2016, the Company recorded revenues of $1.2 million and $1.4 million, respectively, as compared to nil ($0) for the same periods in the previous year.  Aurora obtained its production and sales licenses during the year and 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.

Gross Margin

Gross margin for the year ended June 30, 2016 was $2.2 million. The gross margin in excess of revenues for the period was primarily due to the unrealized gain on changes in the fair value of biological assets. This resulted from the initial build-up of plants in production as the Company focuses its efforts on increasing product inventories and strains available for its growing number of registered patients.

For the quarter, accounting treatment of the fair value recognition of biological asset has resulted in a negative gross margin of $4.2 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 $0.1 million to $1.1 million, and by $1.3 million to $3.0 million, respectively, for the three and twelve months ended June 30, 2016. The increase was primarily attributable to the increase in corporate and general administrative activities of the Company related to the scaling up of operations, its successful public listing and the maintenance thereof, and transition to being a fully licensed producer.

Sales & Marketing

Sales and marketing increased by $0.4 million to $0.9 million, and by $0.7 million to $1.7 million during the three and twelve months ended June 30, 2016, respectively. The overall increase was primarily due to the Company commencing its commercial operations and sales of medical cannabis in the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

Net Loss

The Company recorded a net loss of $7.5 million for the quarter, attributable to a decrease in unrealized gain on changes in fair value of biological assets and increased expenditures due to increased corporate activities related to the acquisition of CanvasRx and various financings.  For the full fiscal year, a net loss of $5.7 million was recorded, a decrease of $3.8 million.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As at June 30, 2016, net cash and cash equivalents on hand had decreased by $0.1 million compared to the same date in the prior year, to $0.3 million. The decrease in cash was mainly attributable to cash used for operating activities of $6.8 million and investing activities of $1.9 million, offset partially by cash inflows from financing.

Subsequent to year-end, the company significantly strengthened its balance sheet with up to approximately $68 million in new financings as follows:

  • $23 million in completed brokered subscription receipt equity financing;
  • $15 million in completed private placement of 10% unsecured convertible debentures;
  • $25 million in additional 8% unsecured convertible debentures announced on October 11, 2016 and expected to close early November, 2016;
  • Generated approximately $4.7 million in additional gross cash proceeds from exercise of warrants, stock and compensation options;
  • The Company has a further potential $25 million in additional gross cash proceeds from unexercised warrants, stock and compensation options, all of which continue to remain in-the-money to security holders;
  • Repaid approximately $9.2 million in high interest short-term and long-term loans outstanding as at June 30, 2016 in full;
  • Converted approximately $2.2 million in convertible notes as at June 30, 2016 into common shares;
  • On October 4, 2016, the Company announced the accelerated expiry of 5,658,479 private placement common share purchase warrants and 112,300 finder warrants issued in connection with a private placement which closed on December 31, 2015 and January 19, 2016. Assuming all warrants are exercised, the Company will receive gross cash proceeds of approximately $3.8 million;
  • On October 20, 2016, announced that the Company elected to exercise its right under the indenture to convert all its $15 million, 10% convertible notes into common shares effective November 23, 2016.

Outstanding Share Data

As at October 27, 2016, there were 245,423,422 common shares issued and outstanding, in addition to 6,464,919 stock options to purchase common shares, 54,205,551 warrants to purchase shares, 2,558,625 compensation options to purchase shares and warrants, and 4,347,826 shares reserved for future issuance in relation to $5.0 million principal outstanding convertible debentures.

Outlook

Aurora's business strategy is to continue and accelerate 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 expansion of 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, Senior VP, Communications and Medical Affairs, +1.905.864.5525, cam@auroramj.com, www.auroramj.com; Marc Lakmaaker, NATIONAL Equicom, mlakmaaker@national.ca, +1.416.848.1397


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