Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) reported first-quarter fiscal 2021 net revenue increased 22% to $110 million. The net loss of $128 million was lower than last year’s net loss by $66 million which the company attributed to the higher revenue and lower SG&A expenses.
“We’re proud of our strong first-quarter performance, despite unprecedented volatility and uncertainty in the market and across the globe,” said David Klein, CEO. “We grew our revenue year-over-year and are seeing market share improvement, notably achieving number one market share in cannabis-infused beverages in the Canadian market. We are implementing a renewed corporate strategy with the appointment of a new leadership team which will focus on delivering quality products to our consumers, positioning our business for continued growth. The proposed retooled Acreage announcement refocuses our entry for the evolving U.S. market, where we are seeing increased momentum.”
The total SG&A expenses declined by 23% versus last year’s first quarter, driven by year-over-year reductions in Sales & Marketing expenses, partially offset by higher General & Administrative (G&A) and Research & Development (“R&D”) expenses. Canopy said that the sales & marketing expenses decline of 25% reflected lower compensation expenses resulting from corporate restructuring actions taken earlier in the year, delayed or canceled marketing activities, and reduced travel-related expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. G&A expenses increased 2%, while R&D expenses rose 61% mainly driven by research studies that commenced in Q2 and Q3 2020 and increased activities to support Cannabis 2.0 product development. Share-based compensation expenses decreased 65% over Q1 2020.
“Following our previously announced restructuring actions, we have substantially reduced our expense and cash burn in this quarter in addition to reducing headcount by over 18% since beginning of this calendar year. Our marketing and R&D investments are being re-allocated to programs with high-return potential in order to drive sales,” added Mike Lee, CFO. “Our gross margins in the quarter came in below our expectations due to under-utilization of our large-scale infrastructure. We’ve already proven we can deliver a 40%-plus gross margin and are confident that we can return to that level as we work toward higher capacity utilization across our facilities as demand for our cannabis products continue to grow. In the meantime, we are focused on further optimizing our operating footprint through a full end-to-end strategy that looks at people, process, technology, and infrastructure that we believe will lead to best in class margins over time.”
The company also stated that cash and short-term Investments were $2.0 billion at June 30, 2020, unchanged from $2.0 billion at March 31, 2020, reflecting the investment of approximately $245 million by an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) to exercise warrants in the Company offset by the EBITDA loss and capital investments.