Aurora Cannabis considers cutting staff numbers after enduring multi-million dollar loss

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Aurora’s executive chair has recoiled from his position. The news comes after the Canada-based publicly declared its plans to save tens of millions of dollars following a reduction in its adult-use and international sales.

For the quarter that concluded on March 31, Aurora reported a net loss of CAD$164.7 million (USD$136 million). In comparison with the previous quarter’s loss of CAD$293 million (USD$242.5 million) this is an improvement.

Headquartered in Edmonton, Aurora’s net revenue sank 18 percent from the previous quarter to CAD$55 million (USD$45.5 million). With the latest financial results in mind, the company’s total loss through nine months of its fiscal year amounts to CAD$1.4 billion (USD$1.2 billion).

Analysts didn’t expect such a drop in revenue, and CEO Miguel Martin felt that it was necessary to clear up any confusion or concerns regarding the company’s recent struggles.

“[Recreational cannabis sales] for everybody, not just us, came in under expectations,” divulged Singer, as he discussed the company’s difficult quarter during a phone interview.

The CEO of Aurora also touched upon the challenges that COVID-19 has presented the cannabis industry with. For example, he cited the closures of various cannabis retail stores around Ontario, in addition to order system changes in a handful of provinces.

Executive chairman is stepping back from his position at Aurora

Lead independent director Ronald Funk is set to replace Michael Singer from his executive chair position. Singer has assumed the role since the year 2016, but his departure will be instantly effectuated 

Despite the public announcement of his departure, Aurora wouldn’t confirm whether or not Singer’s replacement was attributed to the CAD$5 billion (USD$4 billion) that the company recently lost out on. 

According to an official statement to MJBizDaily reporters, Aurora explained that the staffing changes reflect the board’s “planned governance enhancements to include an independent chairman.”

Singer will now return to his role as company director. The board member also serves as Member of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and interim CEO of Aurora from February to September 2020.

Aurora’s medical cannabis sales remain strong

In spite of the poor sales figures, Aurora’s medical cannabis sales remain strong. The latest figures, which rest at CAD$27 million (USD$22 million) remain the same as the previous quarter. Here’s an overview:

  • International medical sales plummeted 26 percent to CAD$9.4 million (USD$7.8 million)
  • Wholesale cannabis sales inflated 210 percent to CAD$760,000 (USD$629,000).

After Aurora released its medical cannabis sales revenue results, the company also announced that it was intent on making annual savings of CAD$60 million (USD$50 million) to CAD$80 million (USD$66 million) over the next 18 months. A regulatory filing shows that Aurora has also entered into agreements to sell two production facilities for a total cost of CAD$24.6 million (USD$20 million).

Aurora Cannabis shares recently debuted on Nasdaq after the firm departed the NYSE.