Cronos Group Inc. announces its 2022 fourth quarter and full-year business results.
“2022 was a transformative year for Cronos in which we executed a business realignment, including a cost savings program, while staying laser focused on continuing to build our portfolio of borderless products,” said Mike Gorenstein, Chairman, President and CEO of Cronos. “We exceeded our originally stated goal by saving $28.7 million in operating expenses in 2022, to right-size our cost structure to be more adaptable to the changing landscape we face globally in the cannabis industry.”
“A significant amount of work went into building the Spinach® brand and creating the right products for it, which culminated in the brand achieving the number one market share in the Canadian edibles category in January 2023. This achievement was validation of our innovation capabilities and is encouraging as we prepare to further expand our portfolio of borderless products. Additionally, Peace Naturals® continues to be a leading medical cannabis brand in Israel, supported by our robust genetics portfolio, which is a testament to our capabilities in building iconic brands that resonate with consumers across the globe. Looking forward to 2023, we are excited about our product and innovation pipelines across categories and we look forward to bringing differentiated products to market that elevate the consumer experience.”
Fourth Quarter 2022
- Net revenue of $22.9 million in Q4 2022 decreased by $2.9 million from Q4 2021. The decrease year-over-year was primarily driven by lower cannabis flower sales in the Canadian adult-use market driven largely by adverse price/mix shift, lower sales in the U.S. segment and the impact of the weakening Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar during the period, partially offset by an increase in net revenue in the Israeli medical market.
- Gross profit of $(0.2) million in Q4 2022 declined by $2.2 million from Q4 2021. The decline year-over-year was primarily driven by reduced gross profit in the Rest of World (“ROW”) segment, mainly driven by lower cannabis flower sales in Canada, increased inventory reserves in the U.S. segment as we transitioned away from beauty products, lower fixed cost absorption and packaging changes in the ROW segment, partially offset by increased sales of cannabis flower in Israel, a favorable mix of cannabis extract products that carry a higher margin profile than other product categories, and lower cannabis biomass costs.
- Adjusted EBITDA of $(21.2) million in Q4 2022 improved by $6.1 million from Q4 2021. The improvement year-over-year was primarily driven by decreases in general and administrative expenses, sales and marketing expenses, and research and development expenses primarily as a result of the Company’s strategic realignment (the “Realignment”).
- Net revenue of $91.9 million in Full-Year 2022 increased by $17.5 million from Full-Year 2021. The increase year-over-year was primarily driven by an increase in net revenue in the ROW segment driven by growth in the Israeli medical market and higher extract sales in the Canadian adult-use market, partially offset by a reduction in revenue in the U.S. segment, an adverse price/mix shift in the cannabis flower category in Canada and the impact of the weakened Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar during the period.
- Gross profit of $12.0 million in Full-Year 2022 improved by $29.5 million from Full-Year 2021. The improvement year-over-year was primarily driven by increased revenue in the ROW segment, mainly driven by a favorable mix of cannabis extract products in Canada that carry a higher margin profile than other product categories, higher sales of cannabis flower in Israel, the absence of inventory write-downs in 2022 and lower cannabis biomass costs. The increases were partially offset by increased inventory reserves in the U.S. segment as we transitioned away from beauty products and lower fixed cost absorption.
- Adjusted EBITDA of $(80.6) million in Full-Year 2022 improved by $79.9 million from Full-Year 2021. The improvement year-over-year was primarily driven by an improvement in gross profit and decreases in general and administrative expenses, sales and marketing expenses, and research and development expenses primarily as a result of the Realignment.
Strategic and Organizational Update
In March 2022, following the evaluation of our global supply chain, we announced the planned exit of our Peace Naturals Campus. Cronos participates in an industry that is constantly evolving, so it is important for the Company to stay agile. To do that, the Company continues transitioning towards a more flexible footprint, ensuring we have the capabilities to execute in current and future market opportunities. To that end, Cronos has decided to maintain select components of its operations at the Peace Naturals Campus, namely distribution and warehousing, certain R&D activities and manufacturing of certain of the Company’s proprietary innovation products.
Following the $28.7 million in operating expense savings in 2022, we have identified an additional $10 to $20 million we anticipate saving across operating expense categories in 2023, primarily driven by savings in sales and marketing, general and administrative, and research and development.
Brand and Product Portfolio
In the fourth quarter of 2022 the Spinach® brand continued to organically expand market share in the edibles category in Canada. According to Hifyre data, Spinach® edibles held an approximate 15.9% market share, which expands to approximately 20.9% within the gummy category, during the fourth quarter of 2022. Furthermore, five SOURZ by Spinach® gummies ranked in the top-10 of all Canadian SKUs by market share. As of January 2023, Spinach® was the number one edible brand in Canada, according to Hifyre data.
In December 2022, the Company expanded its rare cannabinoid edible line-up under the Spinach FEELZ™ brand, with the introduction of a new CBC gummy, Spinach FEELZ™ Mango Lime 1:3 THC + CBC. These gummies are the first CBC gummy product in Canada and the first to feature a 1:3 ratio of THC to CBC.
Cronos revamped its vape portfolio in 2022, including the addition of 1-gram vapes, new and exciting flavors based off of well performing flower strains and multiple rare cannabinoid SKUs, including CBG and CBN. In the fourth quarter, Spinach® rose to be the number six vape brand, capturing 4.8% market share according to Hifyre data. This result was led by the best performing Spinach® product, the Blueberry Dynamite 1-gram vape.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Cronos continued to innovate and improve its pre-roll and flower portfolio under the Spinach® brand with the launch of new and exciting high potency strains in Canada. Cronos launched two new strains across various formats: Kiwi Lime Punch and Green Monster Breath.
In Israel, we continue to execute by growing brand awareness with PEACE NATURALS®. Cronos is focused on continuing to bring new and exciting cannabis flower strains powered by our genetic breeding program to the Israeli medical market, such as Cocoa Bomba and Miami Sky.
Intellectual Property Initiatives
In November and December 2022, Cronos achieved equity milestones for cannabichromenic acid (“CBCA”) and cannabichromevarinic acid (“CBCVA”), respectively, under its strategic partnership (the “Ginkgo Strategic Partnership”) with Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DNA) (“Ginkgo”). The Company is pleased to have achieved milestones for three rare cannabinoids through the fermentation process in 2022.
Global Supply Chain
Cronos Growing Company Inc. (“Cronos GrowCo”) reported to the Company preliminary unaudited net revenue to licensed producers excluding sales to the Company in the fourth quarter and full-year 2022 of approximately $2.4 million and $21.0 million, respectively. GrowCo’s performance on cultivation continues to be strong, hitting north of 30% THC potency on recent harvests, which is a testament to our joint venture’s complementary capabilities in cultivation and downstream processing and the Company’s investment in genetic breeding and tissue culture. The Company’s 50% share of GrowCo’s net income, which is accounted for under the equity method of accounting, equated to $3.1 million in 2022. Cronos previously provided GrowCo with a credit facility, which currently has approximately $73.8 million outstanding following the repayment of principal of $3.1 million by GrowCo as of December 2022. In addition to principal repayment, Cronos also received $2.2 million in interest payments from GrowCo in 2022, which totals approximately $5.2 million in cash payments to Cronos in 2022.
In November 2022, Cronos appointed James Holm as Chief Financial Officer after nearly two decades of finance and accounting experience at leading companies across industries. He most recently served as the Global Vice President of Finance Transformation at Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, where he led the company’s centralization, standardization and optimization to a Global Shared Service hub for finance processes. Before joining Vertiv, Mr. Holm served as Finance Leader, Finance Solutions & Process Transformation Organization at Worldpay, one of the largest global payment processors. There he drove financial reporting accuracy, capabilities and enhancements across the company. Earlier in his career, he held multiple positions of increasing seniority in the finance department during his eight-year tenure at Procter and Gamble.