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Aurora Cannabis sees $137.4M net loss in Q3


May 15, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s third quarter was weighed down by a net loss, but the company is optimistic about its future after seeing a significant increase in the amount of pot it has sold.

The Edmonton-based company behind the San Rafael `71, Daily Special and CanniMed brands reported May 14 that it incurred a $137.4 million or $1.37 per share net loss in the period ended Mar. 31 compared to a $1.3 billion or $14.16 per share net loss it reported the quarter before.

Analysts had expected the company to report a net loss of 78 cents per share for the third quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

“Our goal is to manage the business with a high degree of fiscal discipline, especially in the midst of a global pandemic and, as our results suggest, we have made significant progress since February with more progress to come,” said Michael Singer, Aurora’s interim chief executive and executive chairman, on a call with analysts.

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He attributed the improvement the company saw in the quarter to the previous quarter’s $762.2 million goodwill impairment charge and $210.6 million impairment charge on intangibles and property, plant and equipment.

Meanwhile, the company’s executives were proud that Aurora sold 12,729 kilograms of cannabis, amounting to 39 per cent more than the quarter before.

During that time period, it also saw net revenue spike to $75.2 million from $56 million.

Aurora’s earnings come as Canadian cannabis companies including Canopy Growth Corp. and Tilray Inc. have been restructuring, taking multi-million-dollar writedowns and laying off hundreds of workers in recent months.

Aurora announced in February that it was taking $1 billion in writedowns and would lay off 500 employees as part of a shakeup to its spending plans.

The industry is bracing itself for the impacts of COVID-19, which has already pushed many companies to shut down their retail stores and operate curbside pick-up for customers.

Aurora’s facilities have remained fully operational during the pandemic and its workers have been recognized as “essential” by governments.

To help stop the spread of the virus, Aurora has reorganized facility layouts, adjusted worker schedules, given some staff bonus pay, added extra health screening measures and rolled out the use of personal protective equipment.

Singer said he expects COVID-19 to have a greater impact on Aurora’s fourth quarter, but did not share further details around his prediction.