Aurora appoints new CEO, signals revenue decline, massive write-downs

Aurora Cannabis has promoted Miguel Martin to CEO, while warning investors to expect declining quarterly revenue and write-downs of up to 1.8 billion Canadian dollars ($1.37 billion) when it reports fourth quarter results in two weeks.

Martin, former CEO of hemp company Reliva, joined Aurora as chief commercial officer after it acquired Reliva earlier this year.

In a business update, the cannabis producer signaled that it expects net revenue for its fourth quarter to fall from CA$75 million in the third quarter to between CA$70 million and CA$72 million for the quarter ended June 30.

Aurora now anticipates positive adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter, after Aurora had assured investors earlier this year it was “on a path to be EBITDA positive in Q1.”

Under Martin’s leadership, Aurora said it expects to focus on:

  • Growing market share “in key profitable Canadian consumer categories.”
  • Protecting and enhancing “Aurora’s leading market share in Canadian medical (marijuana).”
  • Growing its international medical marijuana business.
  • “(Building) leading brands under Reliva in the US CBD market.”

“Ultimately, Aurora believes that it is capable of supporting significantly higher levels of net revenue in the future without a corresponding level of growth in (selling, general and administrative expenses),” the company said.

Upcoming impairment charges announced Tuesday by Aurora will range from CA$1.6 billion to CA$1.8 billion, including charges of up to CA$90 million for “production facility rationalization” and CA$140 million in inventory, mostly cannabis trim.

Aurora is among a number of Canadian cannabis firms unloading greenhouses after years of over investment.

The company also said it was mutually terminating its partnership with mixed martial arts fighting league UFC, for a cost of $30 million.

The company also said it had amended its senior secured debt, reducing adjusted EBITDA milestones and downsizing its revolving credit facility from CA$43 million to CA$15 million.

Aurora said it had CA$160 million of cash on hand as of June 30.

The Edmonton, Alberta-based company will report its fourth quarter results after markets close on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Shares of Aurora trade as ACB on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.