New York-based Ascend Wellness Holdings (CSE: AAWH.U) (OTCQX: AAWH) reported a solid third quarter, with the key metric of same-store sales climbing as the company cuts costs.
Ascend’s gross revenue for the period that ended Sept. 30 soared 26.6% from a year earlier to $169.9 million. Stripping out the impact of sales within its own divisions, net revenue jumped an impressive 27%, bumping off broader retail woes.
The results beat analysts’ estimates of $127.4 million by 33%.
“In my first full quarter as Ascend’s CEO, we’ve been diligently optimizing operations and fortifying our team,” newly minted CEO John Hartmann said in a statement Tuesday. “Early signs of results are encouraging.”
Retail revenue rose to $101.3 million, up 22.3% from the same period last year, reflecting strong consumer uptake, especially in Maryland where Ascend kicked off adult-use sales earlier this year.
Wholesale operations weren’t left behind, boasting a 33.4% rise in gross revenue year-over-year, as the company’s wholesale strategy appears to resonate with a market that’s growing in sophistication and scale. That was particularly evident in its net wholesale gains, which shot up by 40.6% after accounting for internal sales.
Despite the glossy revenue numbers, Ascend still reported a net loss, though the $11.2 million figure was a marked improvement over last year’s $16.9 million in the red. Ascend’s adjusted EBITDA improved by 38.5% from the previous quarter, albeit with a slight year-over-year decline in margin. Margins still climbed by 356 basis points sequentially.
Cash and cash equivalents stood at $63.9 million, providing the company with a cushion. Still, the company’s net debt position stands at $243.5 million.
Cash flow from operations told a brighter story, with Ascend generating $24.2 million in the quarter, marking its third consecutive period of operational cash positivity. The figure excludes a $3.3 million employee retention tax credit the company received and subsequently used for debt repayment.