Le Lézard
Classified in: Business
Subjects: ERN, MAT

AWH ANNOUNCES Q3 2023 FINANCIAL RESULTS


Reported Record Quarterly Revenue for 6th Consecutive Quarter

Achieved $141.3M Net Revenue in Q3 2023, a 27.0% Increase Year-Over-Year and 14.9% Increase Quarter-Over-Quarter

Reported $29.5 million in Adjusted EBITDA, a 38.5% Quarter-Over-Quarter Improvement 

Improved Adjusted EBITDA Margins by 356 Basis Points Sequentially

Generates $24 million in Cash from Operations1; Positive for Third Consecutive Quarter

Generates $13 million in Free Cash Flow1; First Quarter Positive

NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2023 /CNW/ - Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. ("AWH" or the "Company" or "Ascend") (CSE: AAWH.U) (OTCQX: AAWH), a vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator focused on bettering lives through cannabis, today reported its financial results for the three months ending September 30, 2023 ("Q3 2023"). Financial results are reported in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and all currency is in U.S. dollars.

Q3 2023 Financial Highlights

____________________________________

1     Excludes the receipt of a $3.3 million Employee Retention Tax Credit ("ERTC").

2     Adjusted EBITDA/margin and Adjusted Gross Profit/margin are a non-GAAP financial measures. Please see the "GAAP Reconciliations" at the end of this release.

3     Total debt less cash and cash equivalents less unamortized deferred financing costs.

Business Highlights

Management Commentary

"With sincere thanks to our customers, partners, investors, lenders, and the Ascend team, our Q3 performance exceeded expectations. We achieved a record-breaking six-quarter net revenue streak with a 15% quarter-over-quarter and 27% year-over-year growth. Improvements in gross profit and EBITDA further position Ascend for success. We remain focused on scaling in adult-use markets and accretive acquisitions to bolster our robust asset footprint across key regions," said Abner Kurtin, Executive Chairman.

John Hartmann, Chief Executive Officer, remarked, "In my first full quarter as Ascend's CEO, we've been diligently optimizing operations and fortifying our team. Early signs of results are encouraging, with a noteworthy 13% sequential surge in retail revenue, chiefly propelled by the successful launch of adult-use sales in Maryland. Moreover, our net wholesale business experienced an impressive 21% sequential growth, driven by growth in New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts. We've further expanded our offerings, introducing the 'Royale' super-premium brand, while actively working to resolve cultivation challenges in New Jersey. With gratitude for our dedicated team, I'm enthusiastic about Ascend's promising future."

Dan Neville, outgoing Chief Financial Officer, emphasized, "Our commitment to generating cash flow and achieving self-sufficiency is clear. This is exemplified by our achievement of generating $24 million in cash from operations. Additionally, we achieved positive free cash flow during the quarter. We are firmly on course to continue generating cash from operations for the full year, a momentous milestone in our journey toward self-sufficiency."

Q3 2023 Financial Overview

Net revenue increased 14.9% quarter-over-quarter, driven by growth in both the retail and wholesale businesses.

Total retail revenue in the third quarter of 2023 was $101.3 million, which represents an 12.7% increase compared to the prior quarter and was driven by the start of adult-use sales in AWH's four Maryland dispensaries; the full quarter benefit of Tinley Park, Illinois; and sequential improvements across the bulk of the footprint.

Gross wholesale revenue was $68.7 million, a 12.2% sequential increase, driven by increases in wholesale revenue across all six of the Company's markets, with the largest growth in the New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts markets. Net wholesale revenue, excluding intercompany sales, increased 20.7% sequentially to $40.0 million, driven by increases in third-party wholesale sales in New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts, partially offset by small declines in Michigan. 

Q3 2023 gross profit was $43.6 million, or 30.8% of revenue, compared to $28.3 million, or 23.0% of revenue, in the prior quarter. Q3 2023 Adjusted Gross Profit1 was $56.4 million, or 39.9% of revenue, compared to $44.9 million, or 36.5% of revenue, in the prior quarter. Adjusted Gross Profit1 excludes depreciation and amortization included in cost of goods sold, equity-based compensation included in cost of goods sold, and non-cash inventory adjustments. Adjusted Gross Profit1 margin increased 340 basis points sequentially driven by margin improvements as a result of adult-use sales commencing in Maryland and margin improvements in the Massachusetts and New Jersey wholesale businesses. 

Total Q3 2023 general and administrative ("G&A") expenses were $40.0 million, compared to $36.3 million in the prior quarter. Total G&A expenses as a percentage of revenue improved from 29.5% of revenue in the prior quarter to 28.3% of revenue as the Company leveraged existing G&A infrastructure.

Net loss  in the third quarter of 2023 was $11.2 million.

Adjusted EBITDA1, which adjusts for tax, interest, depreciation, amortization, equity-based compensation, and other items deemed one-time or non-recurring in nature, was $29.5 million in Q3 2023. This represents an 38.5% increase quarter-over-quarter driven by the aforementioned gross profit improvements. Adjusted EBITDA Margin1 of 20.9% represented a 356 basis point increase compared to the prior quarter. 

Non-GAAP Financial Information

This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including Adjusted Gross Profit, Adjusted Gross Margin, Adjusted EBITDA, and Adjusted EBITDA Margin. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP are included in the financial schedules attached to this press release. This information should be considered as supplemental in nature and not as a substitute for, or superior to, any measure of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Conference Call and Webcast

AWH will host a conference call on November 7, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss its financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2023. The conference call may be accessed by dialing (888) 390-0605. A live audio webcast of the call will also be available on the Investor Relations section of AWH's website at https://www.awholdings.com/investors and will be archived for replay.

About Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc.

AWH is a vertically integrated operator with assets in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  AWH owns and operates state-of-the-art cultivation facilities, growing award-winning strains and producing a curated selection of products for retail and wholesale customers. AWH produces and distributes its in-house Common Goods, Simply Herb, Ozone, Ozone Reserve, Tunnel Vision, and Royale branded products. For more information, visit www.awholdings.com.

Additional information relating to the Company's third quarter 2023 results is available on the Investor Relations section of AWH's website at https://awholdings.com/investors/, the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval System ("EDGAR") at www.sec.gov and Canada's System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval ("SEDAR") at www.sedarplus.ca.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This news release includes forward-looking information and statements, which may include, but are not limited to, the plans, intentions, expectations, estimates, and beliefs of the Company. Words such as "expects", "continue", "will", "anticipates" and "intends" or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking information and statements. Without limiting the generality of the preceding statement, all statements in this press release relating to estimated and projected revenue, expectations regarding production capacity, anticipated capital expenditures, expansion, profit, product demand, margins, costs, cash flows, sources of capital, growth rates and future financial and operating results are forward-looking information and statements. We caution investors that any such forward-looking statements and information are based on the Company's current projections and expectations about future events and financial trends, the receipt of all required regulatory approvals, and on certain assumptions and analysis made by the Company in light of the experience of the Company and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors management believes are appropriate.

Forward-looking information and statements involve and are subject to assumptions and known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause actual events, results, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future events, results, performance, and achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking information and statements herein. Such factors include, among others, the risks and uncertainties identified in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, and in the Company's other reports and filings with the applicable Canadian securities regulators on its profile on SEDAR at www.sedarplus.ca and with the SEC on its profile on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. Although the Company believes that any forward-looking information and statements herein are reasonable, in light of the use of assumptions and the significant risks and uncertainties inherent in such information and statements, there can be no assurance that any such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, and accordingly readers are advised to rely on their own evaluation of such risks and uncertainties and should not place undue reliance upon such forward-looking information and statements. Any forward-looking information and statements herein are made as of the date hereof, and except as required by applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation and disclaims any intention to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements herein or to update the reasons that actual events or results could or do differ from those projected in any forward looking information and statements herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws. The Canadian Securities Exchange has not reviewed, approved or disapproved the content of this news release.

ASCEND WELLNESS HOLDINGS, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS INFORMATION (UNAUDITED)


Three Months Ended

September 30,


Nine Months Ended

September 30,

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

2023


2022


2023


2022

Revenue, net

$             141,268


$             111,238


$             378,432


$             293,827

Cost of goods sold

(97,712)


(74,602)


(270,853)


(200,776)

Gross profit

43,556


36,636


107,579


93,051

Operating expenses








General and administrative expenses

40,009


34,159


111,762


100,959

Settlement expense

?


?


?


5,000

Total operating expenses

40,009


34,159


111,762


105,959

Operating profit (loss)

3,547


2,477


(4,183)


(12,908)









Other income (expense)








Interest expense

(8,963)


(8,434)


(28,419)


(23,711)

Other, net

902


273


25,211


527

Total other expense

(8,061)


(8,161)


(3,208)


(23,184)

Loss before income taxes

(4,514)


(5,684)


(7,391)


(36,092)

Income tax expense

(6,726)


(11,178)


(21,480)


(29,757)

Net loss

$             (11,240)


$             (16,862)


$             (28,871)


$             (65,849)









Net loss per share attributable to Class A and Class B common stockholders ? basic and diluted

$                 (0.05)


$                 (0.09)


$                 (0.15)


$                 (0.36)

Weighted-average common shares outstanding ? basic and diluted

205,710


187,697


196,616


181,833

ASCEND WELLNESS HOLDINGS, INC.
SELECTED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOW INFORMATION (UNAUDITED)


Three Months Ended

September 30,


Nine Months Ended

September 30,

(in thousands)

2023


2022


2023


2022

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

$            27,491


$            (1,780)


$            58,666


$          (22,285)

Cash flows from investing activities








Additions to capital assets

(11,297)


(30,517)


(16,012)


(62,959)

Investments in notes receivable

(584)


(1,001)


(15,169)


(2,391)

Collection of notes receivable

81


81


245


245

Proceeds from sale of assets

?


?


15,000


39,225

Acquisition of businesses, net of cash acquired

?


?


(19,857)


(24,890)

Purchases of intangible assets

(15,000)


(14,772)


(15,943)


(43,781)

Net cash used in investing activities

(26,800)


(46,209)


(51,736)


(94,551)

Cash flows from financing activities








Proceeds from issuance of common stock in private placement, net of offering expenses

?


?


7,000


?

Proceeds from issuance of debt

?


?


?


65,000

Repayments of debt

(4,096)


(834)


(23,188)


(2,289)

Repayments under finance leases

(109)


(23)


(256)


(23)

Debt issuance costs

?


(312)


?


(4,998)

Taxes withheld under equity-based compensation plans, net

(611)


?


(711)


(4,942)

Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities

(4,816)


(1,169)


(17,155)


52,748

Net decrease in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash

(4,125)


(49,158)


(10,225)


(64,088)

Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash at beginning of period

68,046


140,551


74,146


155,481

Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash at end of period

$            63,921


$            91,393


$            63,921


$            91,393

ASCEND WELLNESS HOLDINGS, INC.
SELECTED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET INFORMATION (UNAUDITED)

(in thousands)

September 30, 2023


December 31, 2022

Cash and cash equivalents

$                      63,921


$                      74,146

Inventory

89,092


97,532

Other current assets

58,312


27,065

Property and equipment, net

269,648


279,860

Operating lease right-of-use assets

132,387


108,810

Intangible assets, net

227,568


221,093

Goodwill

47,291


44,370

Other noncurrent assets

19,768


19,284

Total Assets

$                    907,987


$                    872,160





Total current liabilities

$                    129,755


$                    110,949

Long-term debt, net

301,989


319,297

Operating lease liabilities, noncurrent

262,988


229,816

Other noncurrent liabilities

53,790


48,683

Total stockholders' equity

159,465


163,415

Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity

$                    907,987


$                    872,160

ASCEND WELLNESS HOLDINGS, INC.
RECONCILIATIONS OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES (UNAUDITED)

We define "Adjusted Gross Profit" as gross profit excluding non-cash inventory costs, which include depreciation and amortization included in cost of goods sold, equity-based compensation included in cost of goods sold, start-up costs included in cost of goods sold, and other non-cash inventory adjustments. We define "Adjusted Gross Margin" as Adjusted Gross Profit as a percentage of net revenue. Our "Adjusted EBITDA" is a non-GAAP measure used by management that is not defined by U.S. GAAP and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. We define "Adjusted EBITDA Margin" as Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue. Management calculates Adjusted EBITDA as the reported net loss, adjusted to exclude: income tax expense; other (income) expense; interest expense, depreciation and amortization; depreciation and amortization included in cost of goods sold; non-cash inventory adjustments; equity-based compensation; equity-based compensation included in cost of goods sold; start-up costs; start-up costs included in cost of goods sold; transaction-related and other non-recurring expenses; litigation settlement; and gain or loss on sale of assets. Accordingly, management believes that Adjusted EBITDA provides meaningful and useful financial information, as this measure demonstrates the operating performance of the business. Non-GAAP financial measures may be considered in addition to the results prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP, but they should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, U.S. GAAP results.

The following table presents Adjusted Gross Profit for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022:



Three Months Ended

September 30,


Nine Months Ended

September 30,

($ in thousands)


2023


2022


2023


2022

Gross Profit


$          43,556


$          36,636


$        107,579


$          93,051

Depreciation and amortization included in cost of goods sold


7,435


4,722


22,265


11,618

Equity-based compensation included in cost of goods sold


2,476


2,629


4,457


9,791

Start-up costs included in cost of goods sold(1)


?


2,610


1,570


10,781

Non-cash inventory adjustments(2)


2,938


4,049


13,052


6,365

Adjusted Gross Profit


$          56,405


$          50,646


$        148,923


$        131,606

Adjusted Gross Margin


39.9 %


45.5 %


39.4 %


44.8 %

(1)  Incremental expenses associated with the expansion of activities at our cultivation facilities that are not yet operating at scale, including excess overhead expenses resulting from delays in regulatory approvals at certain cultivation facilities.

(2)  Consists of write-offs of expired products, obsolete packaging, and net realizable value adjustments related to certain inventory items.

ASCEND WELLNESS HOLDINGS, INC.
RECONCILIATIONS OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES (UNAUDITED)

The following table presents Adjusted EBITDA for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022:



Three Months Ended

September 30,


Nine Months Ended

September 30,

($ in thousands)


2023


2022


2023


2022

Net loss


$        (11,240)


$        (16,862)


$        (28,871)


$        (65,849)

Income tax expense


6,726


11,178


21,480


29,757

Other, net


(902)


(273)


(25,211)


(527)

Interest expense


8,963


8,434


28,419


23,711

Depreciation and amortization


14,930


7,994


44,192


20,679

Non-cash inventory adjustments(1)


2,938


4,049


13,052


6,365

Equity-based compensation


5,610


6,382


12,744


19,936

Start-up costs(2)


504


6,563


3,309


16,687

Transaction-related and other non-recurring expenses(3)


1,996


601


5,269


8,822

(Gain) loss on sale of assets


?


(296)


(226)


450

Litigation settlement


?


?


?


5,000

Adjusted EBITDA


$          29,525


$          27,770


$          74,157


$          65,031

Adjusted EBITDA Margin


20.9 %


25.0 %


19.6 %


22.1 %

(1) 

Consists of write-offs of expired products, obsolete packaging, and net realizable value adjustments related to certain inventory items.

(2) 

One-time costs associated with acquiring real estate, obtaining licenses and permits, and other costs incurred before commencement of operations at certain locations, as well as incremental expenses associated with the expansion of activities at our cultivation facilities that are not yet operating at scale, including excess overhead expenses resulting from delays in regulatory approvals at certain cultivation facilities. Also includes other one-time or non-recurring expenses, as applicable.

(3) 

Legal and professional fees associated with litigation matters, potential acquisitions, other regulatory matters, and other non-recurring expenses. The three and nine months ended September 30, 2023 includes a fair value adjustment related to an acquisition earn-out of $606 and $1,594, respectively. The nine months ended September 30, 2023 also includes a $1,804 reserve on a note receivable.

SOURCE Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc.


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