Aurora Cannabis’ annual loss reduces in 2021, as company downsizes workforce and shuts Edmonton facility

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Aurora Cannabis a leader in the North American medical and recreational weed industry has released its financial figures for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2021. 

In its financial filing, the Alberta-headquartered company regretfully announced that it had lost CAD$695 million (USD$550 million). 

Based on the Canadian cannabis company’s year-end financial statements, the latest figures demonstrate an improvement from last year’s CAD$3.3 billion (USD$2.65 billion) net loss.

For 2021, Aurora’s net revenue sank to CAD$245.5 million (USD$197.5 million). This is a slight decrease from the CAD$279 million (USD$224 million) net revenue that was confirmed in 2020.

From a regional perspective, the company’s annual revenue emerged, for the most part, from Canada — 86 percent was sourced from the North American country at CAD$211 million (USD$170 million). Just 5.4 percent came from the European Union, which attracted CAD$30 million (USD$24 million) in revenue for Aurora.

Medical cannabis is a surefire winner for Aurora, adult-use cannabis not so much

Financial reporters noted that medical cannabis sales demonstrated a strong point for Aurora, which celebrated total medical cannabis net revenue of CAD$143 million (USD$115 million) for the year concluding June 30, 2021 — over $20 million more than 2020’s CAD$121 million (USD$97 million.)

Despite achieving strong sales figures from the medical cannabis market, the company struggled to stay afloat in the adult-use market. For fiscal 2021, Aurora’s recreational cannabis net revenue slumped from 2020’s CAD$126.7 million (USD$102 million) to CAD$100.4 million (USD$81 million).

Contrastingly, within the same time period, total recreational cannabis sales for Canada’s flourishing market swelled by almost double the amount of Aurora’s adult-use cannabis sales revenue.

Aurora’s adjusted Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was a loss for the year concluding on June 30, 2021. Based on this measure of profitability, Aurora lost CAD$114.1 million (USD$91.6 million) for the year ending on June 30, 2021. Last year, the adjusted EBITDA loss amounted to CAD$188.5 million. (USD$151.3 million)

“Aurora has a clear path forward to being adjusted-EBITDA positive for the first half of our next fiscal year through actions we control,” said company Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Glen Ibbott during a conference call, which involved discussions with a team of analysts and investors.

Aurora Cannabis cuts eight percent of workforce and shutters facility in Edmonton

In separate yet related news, Aurora has announced that it will be closing a cannabis manufacturing facility at Edmonton International Airport. This bold decision will result in approximately eight percent of Aurora’s global workforce being axed.

“This decision was not taken lightly. After painstaking review and thorough consideration, we are taking the necessary steps to strengthen our core operations to meet current and future demand,”  the company wrote via email.

Known as the “Aurora Polaris” manufacturing facility, the establishment officially opened its doors in January of this year. Regulatory filings suggest that the facility’s completion was initially expected “in late 2019.”

“We aspire to be a leaner, more agile organization that keeps pace with our competition and is on a path to profitability. We believe these changes are imperative for our future success,” company officials announced after the facility’s closure.

Shares of Aurora can be found trading under the ticker “ACB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.