Tilray CEO open to M&A in Canada as cannabis revenue misses target

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Canadian cannabis producer Tilray reported net revenue of $168 million (210 million Canadian dollars) for the June-August quarter, the first full quarter of sales after the merger between Aphria and Tilray closed earlier this year.

The revenue was shy of analysts’ expectations, who had forecast quarterly sales of over $170 million.

Tilray’s net loss grew to $34.6 million in the quarter, more than 60% higher than the same period one year ago.

However, adjusted EBITDA, another measure of profitability, was $12.7 million.

In a conference call with retail investors and analysts, CEO Irwin Simon acknowledged that Tilray’s market share in Canada was only 16% in the company’s first fiscal quarter, but he said the company had maintained the leading market share in Canada this summer.

Before the merger, the two businesses had commanded almost 20% of Canada’s overall market together, according to regulatory filings.

Simon suggested Tilray might have to dip into the M&A pool to achieve his goal of owning almost one-third of Canada’s market.

“I’ve said we want to (have) 30% market share (in Canada). Originally, I felt we could do that on our own. There may have to be acquisitions and more consolidation in this marketplace,” the CEO said on the call.

“With 507 (licensed producers) out there, there’s got to be some more consolidation. Yes, Tilray would be open for other acquisitions in the Canadian market if it made sense.”

In the first fiscal quarter, Tilray’s cannabis revenue jumped 31.2% from the previous quarter to $70.5 million.

But as Canaccord Genuity analyst Matt Bottomley noted, the previous quarter included only about one month of sales from the original Tilray.

Bottomley estimates the latest cannabis sales were likely flat, or only slightly higher, compared to the previous quarter.

Cannabis revenue made up less than half of Tilray’s overall sales.

By category, net sales in the quarter consisted of:

  • Cannabis revenue of $70.5 million, or 42% of sales.
  • Distribution revenue of $67.2 million, or 40% of sales.
  • Beverage alcohol revenue of $15.5 million, or 9% of sales.
  • Wellness revenue of $15 million, or 9% of sales.

Tilray reported gross medical cannabis revenue of $8.4 million for the June-August period, significantly lower than the $6.4 million in the same three months of 2020.

Gross recreational cannabis sales were $69 million, up from $57 in the year-ago period.

Wholesale cannabis gross revenue of $1.7 million was about half of 2020’s $3.8 million.

Revenue from international cannabis products was $10.3 million. No comparable figure was provided for 2020.

During the call, Simon told investors and analysts that “we’re the largest grower of cannabis in the world today and have the ability to grow over 265,000 kilos (of cannabis annually).”

Tilray said it has generated annualized cost savings of $55 million so far this year after announcing its plan to shut down a “flagship facility in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

The closure is part of the company’s plan to save money after its merger with Aphria.

Shares of Tilray trade on the Nasdaq as TLRY.