(Photo courtesy of Aphria)

Earnings down, revenue up for Aphria

Despite a six-fold increase in revenue, a Leamington-based cannabis manufacturer saw its earnings fall.

Aphria released its earnings report Monday morning for the third quarter in its 2018-19 fiscal year, which ended on February 28. The company saw a $108.2 million loss in the quarter, according to Marketwatch.com.  The loss translates to 43 cents a share based on a profit of eight cents a share in the same period a year ago.

Overall revenue, however, is way up from the same period last year. Aphria reports that net revenue is at $73.6 million, up 240 per cent from the second quarter and 617 per cent from the third quarter of 2018-2019. Cannabis sales went down though, with 2,636 kg sold in the quarter compared to 3,408 kg the previous year, but Aphria attributes that to the selling of smaller package sizes.

Irwin D. Simon, Aphria’s chairman and acting CEO, praised the efforts of the one thousand employees despite the sagging earnings.

“Our organization has experienced significant change in a very short period of time which was necessary to propel the company forward,” said Simon. “Our board of directors and executive team will remain focused on the advancement of Aphria’s leadership position in the global cannabis industry.”

The news of the earnings drop has reached the floors of the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. At the TSX Monday morning, Aphria stock began trading lower than its Friday close of $13.41 a share. It also began trading sharply lower on Wall Street.

Aphria stock closed at $8.60 a share in New York Monday afternoon, and at $11.50 a share at the TSX.

The company, which manufactures medical cannabis, is coming off a tumultuous year during which recreational pot use was legalized in Canada. Aphria held off a hostile takeover bid, saw the retirement of previous CEO Vic Neufeld, and faced questions from short-sellers about investing in Latin American operations.

Simon said Aphria continues to strive to produce an ideal business model and a superior product.

“Aphria will continue to drive sustainable long-term shareholder value by leveraging its strong brand positioning, superior distribution model, product innovation, industrial-scale cultivation and automation, medical-use leadership and strategic global platform,” said Simon.