Ascend Wellness Nearly Triples Revenue in Q1 to $66.1 Million

AWH Announces Q1 2021 Financial Results
  • Q1 2021 Revenue Increases 21.8% Sequentially to $66.1 Million
  • Adds Five New Dispensaries Since the Beginning of 2021, Including Boston Flagship Location
  • 2021 Revenue Guidance Outlook Issued; Expects Full Year 2021 Revenue of $320-$340 Million
  • Appoints Joe Hinrichs, former President, Automotive, at Ford Motor Company, to the Board of Directors

NEW YORK, May 18, 2021 /CNW/ – Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. (“AWH” or the “Company”) (CSE: AAWH.U), a vertically integrated multi-state operator focused on bettering lives through cannabis, today reported its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. The Company has applied to be quoted on the OTCQX, part of the OTC Markets Group. Financial results are reported in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and all currency is in U.S. dollars.

Q1 2021 Financial Highlights

  • Revenue: Total revenue of $66.1 million increased 21.8% sequentially and 192.7% year-over-year.
  • Adjusted EBITDA¹: Adjusted EBITDA of $15.8 million represented a 57.8% increase sequentially. Adjusted EBITDA Margin of 23.9% represented a 550 basis point increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Net Loss: Net loss of $48.2 million during the first quarter of 2021 which included a $36.5 million one-time non-cash charge, as compared a net loss of $7.1 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Balance Sheet: As of March 31, 2021, cash and cash equivalents were $62.6 million. After the end of the quarter, AWH raised $86.4 million of net proceeds from the Company’s initial public offering, including the over-allotment and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions.

1 Adjusted Gross Profit, Adjusted Gross Margin and Adjusted EBITDA are a non-GAAP financial measures. Please see the “Supplemental Information (Unaudited) Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures” at the end of this press release for a reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP measures.

Management Commentary

Our first quarter results demonstrate extraordinary sequential revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth, which reflect the strong fundamentals of our business.

Abner Kurtin, Founder and CEO of AWH

By allocating our investors’ capital in emerging recreational markets with strong barriers to entry, we continue to position AWH for sustainable growth in the most attractive markets in the U.S.

Mr. Kurtin added, “We are also proud to announce that Joe Hinrichs will be joining our Board. Mr. Hinrichs worked at Ford Motor Company for 19 years before retiring in 2020, most recently as President, Automotive. Adding a distinguished leader of a Fortune 500 company to our Board represents a milestone for Ascend and the industry. Mr. Hinrichs’ leadership, operational experience and ability to connect with employees at all levels of the organization will be invaluable to AWH and myself. Welcome aboard Joe!”

AWH has delivered on its strategy to bring together flagship retail assets in coveted, high traffic regions with a curated assortment of high-quality products that previously did not exist in the market.

Joe Hinrichs

I’m excited to be joining AWH during such a pivotal time in its growth and look forward to working with the leadership team and my fellow directors to provide specialized operational advice to drive long-term growth and profitability.

Addition of Joe Hinrichs to the Board of Directors

Mr. Hinrichs spent 19 years at Ford Motor Company, most recently as President of Automotive. Prior to serving in this capacity, he served as President, Global Operations; President, The Americas; President, Asia Pacific and Africa; Chairman & CEO, Ford China; and Group Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, from 2007 to 2019. Prior to joining Ford, he was a partner and senior vice president of Ryan Enterprises Group, a private investment group in Chicago. Earlier in his career, he spent 10 years at General Motors in various positions in engineering and manufacturing, including plant manager. Mr. Hinrichs earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering magna cum laude from the University of Dayton (Ohio) in 1989, and a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School in 1994 as a GM Fellow.

Recent Business Developments

Retail Business

  • During the first quarter of 2021, AWH opened two new dispensaries, in Fairview Heights, Illinois, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, which brought the Company’s total to 14 open and operating dispensaries as of March 31, 2021. Subsequently, AWH opened its flagship location in Downtown Boston, Massachusetts on May 6, 2021 and its second Northern New Jersey location in Rochelle Park opened on May 15, 2021. The Company also opened the Ascend by Midway location in Chicago Ridge, Illinois and now has 17 operating dispensaries across Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
  • Total retail revenue increased to $45.5 million for the first quarter of 2021, representing an increase of 20.0% sequentially. Sequential revenue growth varied by state, but exceeded 17% in all states in which the Company operates. In particular, revenue growth at the Company’s Montclair, New Jersey dispensary exceeded 40% sequentially.
  • Total transactions increased 27.9% sequentially to approximately 411,000. Average value per transaction declined by 6.2% to approximately $111 due to a mix shift towards recreational customers and markets like Chicago, Illinois and Michigan, which have lower average tickets.

Wholesale Business

  • Gross wholesale revenue increased to $30.3 million, representing an increase of 38.0% sequentially primarily driven by increased output at the Company’s cultivation facility located in Barry, Illinois. Net wholesale revenue, after intercompany sales, increased to $20.6 million, representing an increase of 26.1% sequentially
  • Pound equivalents sold increased 16.6% sequentially and 316.2% year-over-year to approximately 8,600 pounds.
  • Gross revenue per pound equivalent was approximately $3,530, representing a 18.3% increase sequentially and a 9.2% decrease year-over-year. Revenue per pound equivalent in the prior year benefited from supply constraints in Illinois following the legalization of adult use sales beginning in January 2020.
  • On May 5, 2021 the Company closed on its acquisition of a cultivation license in Ohio.

Revenue Guidance

Based on the Company’s existing operations, current regulations, and foreseeable growth, AWH Management currently estimate annual revenue for 2021 will be in the range of $320 million to $340 million.

First Quarter 2021 Financial Overview

Total revenue during the first quarter of 2021 was $66.1 million, which represents an increase of 192.7% from $22.6 million during the first quarter of 2020 and an increase of 21.8% from $54.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2020. Revenue growth was driven by new store openings, increased traffic at open stores, and increase cultivation and production activity. The Company continues to invest in the build-out of its cultivation and manufacturing capabilities in Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

Gross profit for the first quarter of 2021 was $29.7 million, or 44.9% of revenue, as compared to $7.5 million, or 33.2% of revenue, for the first quarter of 2020.

Total general and administrative expenses for the first quarter of 2021 were $25.1 million, or 38.0% of revenue, as compared to $9.6 million, or 42.7% of revenue, for the first quarter of 2020.

Total other expense was $7.3 million for the first quarter of 2021, consisting primarily of interest expense.

Net loss attributable to AWH for the first quarter of 2021 was $48.2 million, or $0.45 per basic and diluted historical common unit, as compared to a net loss of $7.5 million, or $0.08 per basic and diluted historical common unit, for the first quarter of 2020.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

As of March 31, 2021, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $62.6 million. Total debt outstanding was $252.4 million. The debt balance includes $125.0 million of convertible debt, which was converted to shares of AWH Class A common stock in May 2021 as part of the IPO. The IPO raised net proceeds of $75.2 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, through the issuance of 10.0 million shares of Class A common stock. On May 7, 2021, the underwriters exercised their over-allotment option to acquire an additional 1.5 million shares of Class A common stock in full, which resulted in additional net proceeds of $11.3 million to the Company.

Non-GAAP Financial Information

This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined by the SEC. 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 Wednesday, May 18, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET to discuss its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. The conference call may be accessed by dialing (888) 664-6383 with conference ID 14638132. A live audio webcast of the call will also be available on the Investor Relations section of AWH’s website at https://awholdings.com/investors/ and will be archived for replay.

About Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc.

AWH is a vertically integrated operator with assets and partners in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and New Jersey. AWH owns and operates state-of-the-art cultivation facilities, growing award winning strains and producing a curated selection of products. AWH produces and distributes Ozone branded products. For more information, visit www.awholdings.com.

Additional information relating to the Company’s first quarter 2021 results is available on the Investor Relations section of AWH’s website at https://awholdings.com/investors/, the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and Canada’s System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”) at www.sedar.com.

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

We define “Adjusted Gross Profit” as gross profit excluding non-cash inventory costs. 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; loss on sale of assets; non-cash inventory adjustments; equity based compensation; start-up costs; transaction-related and other non-recurring expenses, and litigation settlement. 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 months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020:

The following table presents Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020:

Original press release

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