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 /PRNewswire/ – 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
- Gross revenue increased 26.6% year-over-year and 12.5% quarter-over-quarter to $169.9 million.
- Net revenue, which excludes intercompany sales of wholesale products, increased 27.0% year-over-year and 14.9% quarter-over-quarter to $141.3 million.
- Retail revenue increased 22.3% year-over-year and 12.7% quarter-over-quarter to $101.3 million.
- Gross wholesale revenue increased 33.4% year-over-year and 12.2% quarter-over-quarter to $68.7 million. Wholesale revenue, net of intercompany sales, increased 40.6% year-over-year and 20.7% quarter-over-quarter to $40.0 million.
- Net loss of $11.2 million during the quarter represented an improvement compared to $16.9 million in Q3 2022.
- Adjusted EBITDA² was $29.5 million, representing a 20.9% margin. Adjusted EBITDA improved 38.5% and Adjusted EBITDA margin improved by 356 basis points quarter-over-quarter.
- Adjusted EBITDA increased 6% and margins declined 406 basis points year-over-year.
- As of September 30, 2023, cash and cash equivalents were $63.9 million and net debt³ was $243.5 million.
- Generated $24.2 million of cash flows from operations, representing the third quarter in a row of positive operating cash flow. This excluded a benefit from receipt of $3.3 million in cash received during the quarter related to the employee retention tax credit (“ERTC”), which was collected and then returned to the lender as debt repayment of an advance previously received.
- The Company generated $12.9 million in Free Cash Flow in Q3, excluding this same ERTC cash receipt.
¹Excludes the receipt of a $3.3 million Employee Retention Tax Credit (“ERTC”).
²Adjusted EBITDA/margin and Adjusted Gross Profit/margin are a non-GAAP financial measures. Please see the “GAAP Reconciliations” at the end of this release.
³Total debt less cash and cash equivalents less unamortized deferred financing costs.
- During the quarter, the Company commenced adult-use sales at four dispensaries in Maryland.
- Subsequent to the quarter, the Company announced key leadership changes. These changes include the appointment of Mark Cassebaum as Chief Financial Officer, effective November 27th, 2023; the appointment of Chris Holzer as Chief of Operations; and the appointment of Denise Pedulla as Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary.
“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.
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.
John Hartmann, Chief Executive Officer
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.