Canadian cannabis operator SNDL halves annual loss to CA$176.6 million

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Alberta cannabis and alcohol company SNDL cut its annual loss in fiscal 2023 in half – to 176.6 million Canadian dollars ($130.5 million) – on strong sales growth.

That was down from SNDL’s 2022 net loss of CA$372.4 million, according to the company’s financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2023.

Net revenue was CA$909 million for the year, a 28% increase from CA$712.2 million a year earlier.

SNDL’s free cash flow for the year was negative CA$60.9 million, two times worse than 2022’s figure of minus CA$31.9 million.

However, the Alberta business said it achieved positive free cash flow in the second half of fiscal 2023, totaling CA$17.7 million.

“2023 was a year of significant financial success for SNDL, including record-breaking revenue and gross profit, and the achievement of free cash flow in the second half of the year,” CEO Zach George said in a statement.

“The generation of stabilized free cash flow continues to be a top priority for our team, and I am proud that we delivered on this stated objective during the last two quarters.”

George said 2023 was “foundational” for the company, as it closed its acquisition of The Valens Co. early in the year.

SNDL has a number of significant business segments, including cannabis production and wholesale sales, marijuana retail sales, alcohol retail sales and investments.

Net revenue for the company’s liquor retail sales amounted to CA$578.9 million in 2023, 25% higher than the CA$462.2 million recorded in 2022.

SNDL is Canada’s largest private-sector liquor retailer with 170 locations, most of which are in Alberta.

The company also has a 63% ownership interest in Nova Cannabis, which SNDL says makes it Canada’s  largest private-sector cannabis retailer with 187 locations across the country.

Net sales from SNDL’s cannabis retail segment grew 41% year-over-year to CA$290 million in 2023.

Nova’s data sales program generated revenue of CA$12.3 million in 2023, compared with CA$4.2 million in 2022.

In February, SNDL announced the acquisition of five Superette stores in Ontario.

As of March 21, SNDL had 85 Spiritleaf stores, including 21 corporate outlets and 64 franchise stores.

The company’s cannabis operations segment, which doesn’t include retail but does include wholesale sales, also reported impressive growth in 2023.

That segment achieved record net revenue of CA$87.1 million in 2023, which is a 96% increase from CA$44.4 million in 2022.

SNDL’s fourth segment, investments, generated positive operating income of CA$12.2 million in 2023, compared with a loss of CA$91.4 million in 2022.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2023 were CA$195 million.

The company’s shares trade as SNDL on the Nasdaq exchange.