Aurora Cannabis revenue short of expectations on lower pot demand

Aurora Cannabis in November 2019 opened a flagship retail store at the West Edmonton Mall, describing the 11,000-square foot shop as “both a retail cannabis store and an immersive experiential space.” (CNW Group/Aurora Cannabis Inc.)

Reuters — Aurora Cannabis on Monday missed Wall Street expectations for fourth-quarter revenue as pandemic-related restrictions weighed down consumer demand, leading Canadian provinces to cut orders.

U.S.-listed shares of the company, which also posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, were down two per cent in extended trading.

After more than three years into Canada’s legalization of recreational cannabis, profits have been wearing thin at most pot firms, weighed down by fewer-than-expected retail stores, cheaper rates on the black market and sluggish overseas growth.

Aurora last week said it would shut down a facility in Edmonton, without disclosing the number of employees that would be impacted by the move.

The company laid off hundreds of employees last year to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, shut facilities and amended its loan agreements.

Net revenue at its consumer cannabis business, its second largest segment, slumped 45 per cent to $19.5 million in the fourth quarter.

The Edmonton-based company’s total net revenue fell 20 per cent to $54.8 million, below Refinitiv analysts’ expectations of $56.28 million.

Aurora sold 11,346 kg of cannabis in the quarter, compared with 16,748 kg a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company lost 68 cents per share, compared with Wall Street expectations for a loss of 27 cents per share, according to data from Refinitiv.

— Reporting for Reuters by Rithika Krishna in Bangalore.

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