Cannabis company Aphria Inc. reported a 75 per cent increase in net revenue compared to the previous quarter, ending the fiscal year, it says, with big plans for the future.
Board of directors chair and interim CEO Irwin Simon said in the last six months the Leamington, Ont.-based company and its 1,000 employees have made substantial progress.
“It’s a new day at Aphria,” said Simon. “Our team’s solid execution resulted in strong adult-use revenue growth and a profitable fourth quarter.”
Net revenue for the fourth quarter totalled more than $128 million — 969 per cent more than net revenue the year before.
“The Aphria of today is not the Aphria of yesterday and won’t be the Aphria of tomorrow. We strive to be better at all that we do so we can further our industry-leading position,” said Simon.
Revenue from recreational cannabis more than doubled from the previous quarter, with $18.5 million in sales. Shares soared 33 per cent Friday after financial results were released.
For the full year, Aphria reported a net loss of $16.5 million compared to $29.4 million in net income during the previous financial year.
The company reiterated its goal of generating $1 billion of annualized revenue by the end of calendar year 2020.
Chris Damas, editor of the BCMI Cannabis Report, warned the company’s percentage gains only look high, due to a weak third quarter.
“Aphria’s sales in [the third quarter] were abysmal,” said Damas. The company saw a net loss of $108.2 million. At the time, the quarterly loss was attributed to an increase in administrative expenses as it expanded its operational capacity.
Damas asked Aphria for the production amounts for the fourth quarter — a number not readily available in the company’s reporting. According to Damas, the fourth quarter production was almost 7,000 kilograms, compared to slightly more than 5,000 kilograms in the third quarter.
The company said annual production capacity is expected to reach 255,000 kilograms.
Aphria faced allegations in December by short-sellers who questioned the pot firm’s recent acquisitions in Latin America, calling them “largely worthless” and purchased at “vastly inflated” prices to benefit insiders.
Aphria denied the allegations and a special committee formed by Aphria’s board to review the deals in question found in February that the takeover of companies in Jamaica, Argentina and Colombia were within an acceptable price range.
In the last year, Aphria has settled a takeover bid and expanded its operations with its Aphria One facility, where more than 200,000 plants were planted.
The company is anticipating the legalization later this year of pot-infused edibles and other next-generation products.