Nova Announces First Quarter 2023 Results
First quarter revenue growth of 20.8%; gross margin improvement to 21.4%; and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 127% to $3.2 million
EDMONTON, AB, May 10, 2023 /CNW/ – Nova Cannabis Inc. (the “Company” or “Nova”) (TSX: NOVC) today released unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements (the “interim financial statements”) and management’s discussion and analysis (“MD&A”) for the three months ended March 31, 2023. All financial information in this press release is reported in millions of Canadian dollars and represents results from continuing operations, unless otherwise indicated.
“First quarter 2023 marked a strong start to the year as we are seeing steady progress across all key financial operating metrics – revenue growth, gross margin improvement and Adjusted EBITDA growth,” said Marcie Kiziak, CEO of Nova.
With the successful launch and growth of our private label products, proprietary data licensing program, and the recent introduction of Firesale Cannabis, we are proud to bring innovative products and solutions to market that are clearly resonating with consumers and delivering value to our partners.
Marcie Kiziak, CEO of Nova
We’ve got a proven model, and with the anticipated completion of the Nova Reorganization (defined below) we look to further capitalize on the exciting opportunities ahead by greatly expanding our footprint across Canada.
The transaction between Nova and SNDL Inc. (“SNDL”) to implement a strategic partnership in the cannabis industry (the “Nova Reorganization”) was approved by Nova’s minority shareholders who are not related parties on May 5, 2023. Completion of the Nova Reorganization remains subject to certain other customary closing conditions, including the receipt of certain regulatory approvals required under applicable provincial cannabis legislation and from the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”). Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of all closing conditions, the Nova Reorganization is expected to be completed prior to June 30, 2023.
FINANCIAL AND OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS
- Revenue of $60.2 million, a 20.8% increase from the first quarter of 2022.
- $1.5 million of revenue related to proprietary data licensing arrangements compared to $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2022.
- Gross margin of $12.9 million (21.4% of revenue), a 37.4% increase from $9.4 million for the first quarter of 2022 (18.8% of revenue). Gross margin improvement was driven by the execution of Nova’s disciplined pricing strategy, private label initiatives and growth in proprietary data licensing arrangements.
- Net loss of $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared to a net loss of $3.5 million in the first quarter of 2022.
- Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2023 of $3.2 million compared to $1.4 million for the first quarter of 2022.
- Nova’s management estimates that its market share was approximately 20.7% in Alberta and 3.4% in Ontario for the months of January and February, 2023, based on available industry data1.
- 92 stores operating as of May 10, 2023, a net increase of one store since March 31, 2023, and four stores since the beginning of 2023.
- In April 2023, the Company launched Firesale Cannabis, a new deep discount retail banner that combats industry waste and provides a unique experience for value-conscious shoppers.
- Value Buds private label sales, sourced from SNDL, represented approximately 8.1% of total 28-gram sales and 36.3% of 14-gram sales in Alberta Value Buds stores for the period ended March 31, 2023. Private label margins are approximately 5% higher than margins on comparable competitor products.
- Value Buds’ 28-gram offerings launched in the Ontario market in late February 2023, and the 14-gram format is expected to launch later in 2023.
- For the first quarter of 2023, cash used in operating activities of $1.4 million, a $4.5 million decrease from the $5.9 million cash used in operating activities for the first quarter 2022. The decrease in cash used is primarily related to increased sales and gross margin for the period.
- Liquidity, including cash and availability under the Revolving Credit Facility (defined below), of $8.0 million as at March 31, 2023.
SPECIFIED FINANCIAL MEASURES
Certain specified financial measures in this earnings release, including Adjusted EBITDA, are non-IFRS measures and may not be comparable to similar measures reported by other companies. This non-IFRS financial measure should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.
1 Source: Statistics Canada: Retail trade sales by province and territory
Adjusted EBITDA is a non-IFRS financial measure which the Company uses to evaluate its operating performance. Adjusted EBITDA provides information to investors, analysts, and others to aid in understanding and evaluating the Company’s operating results in a similar manner to Management. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as loss and comprehensive loss before finance costs; gains and losses on fair value adjustments; depreciation; impairments, lease remeasurements and other costs; and certain one-time transaction costs and restructuring costs, as determined by Management.
The following table reconciles Adjusted EBITDA to net loss and comprehensive loss for the periods noted:
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
Summary of Consolidated Cash Flows
Revolving Credit Facility
Nova has an uncommitted revolving credit facility with SNDL in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $15.0 million (the “Revolving Credit Facility”). On April 28, 2023, the term of the Revolving Credit Facility was extended to June 30, 2023.
As at May 10, 2023, $12.3 million in principal and accrued but unpaid interest is outstanding on the Revolving Credit Facility.
Nova’s objective is to be one of the largest and fastest-growing cannabis retailers in Canada. Its goal is to disrupt and solidify the cannabis retail market by promoting a wide range of cannabis products at everyday best-value prices, while encouraging greater migration from the illicit cannabis market. The Company’s strategy is rooted in the quality of its store footprint and locations, the sales efficiency of Nova stores, and the appeal of the Value Buds brand. Nova remains disciplined and customer focused by choosing the best real estate to execute its strategy – whether through acquiring stores or building its own.
- Through its partnership with SNDL, Value Buds’ private label strategy has been successfully launched in Alberta and Ontario. The private label strategy enables Nova to develop higher gross margin offerings, build customer loyalty and create long-term brand awareness. The private label strategy focuses on keystone segments, specifically large format, uniquely curated for the Value Buds consumer, and drives meaningful differentiation through the retail network.
- The Company continues its aggressive pricing strategy to capture further market share. Nova has begun adjusting pricing across all categories in Alberta to test elasticity and understand consumer buying trends. This contributed to the sequential gross margin improvement from the first quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023 from 18.8% to 21.4%.
- Nova has opened or acquired four additional stores in 2023, two in Alberta and two in Ontario. Pending completion of the Nova Reorganization, announced by the Company on December 20, 2022, and amended on April 3, 2023, the Company will acquire approximately 32 additional stores located in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario from SNDL’s retail network, increasing the Company’s store footprint by more than 33%.
- The completion of the Nova Reorganization is expected to create a well-capitalized cannabis retail platform through a vertical integration model leveraging SNDL’s upstream and midstream capabilities. The Nova Reorganization will enable Nova to continue to evolve in a still immature sector by becoming a trusted partner to the Canadian cannabis ecosystem.
Nova will host a conference call and webcast at 10:30 a.m. EDT (8:30 a.m. MDT) on Wednesday, May 11, 2023.
To access the live webcast of the call, please visit the following link:
The webcast archive will be available for three months via the link provided above. A telephone replay will be available for one month. To access the replay dial:
Canada/USA Toll Free: 1-800-319-6413 or International Toll: +1-604-638-9010
When prompted, enter Replay Access Code: 0162#
For further information, refer to the Company’s interim financial statements and MD&A for the three months ended March 31, 2023, which are available from the Company’s profile on SEDAR, at www.sedar.com, or on the Company’s website at www.novacannabis.ca.