Cannabis producer Tilray doubles revenue but deepens losses in 2018

Nanaimo, B.C.-based cannabis firm Tilray more than doubled its revenue in 2018 as pot became legal in Canada, but had a net loss of $67.7 million as it expanded rapidly.

Tilray, which listed last year, said it sold 6,478 kilograms of cannabis in the year at an average selling price of $8.59 Cdn per gram.

Its revenue for the year was $56.4 million Cdn, a 110 per cent increase. Revenue continued increasing in the fourth quarter to $20.9 million, three times its revenue in the comparable period in 2017.

Net loss for the quarter was $0.33 per share compared to $0.04 per share for the previous year. The loss was double what analysts had expected and a disappointment to the market.

Tilray noted the significant revenue growth for extract products compared to dried flower, where extracts represented 49 per cent of the sales mix in 2018 compared to 20 per cent in 2017.

The company raised $153 million in its IPO last year and has been plowing that into a rapid expansion.

Tilray acquired Manitoba Harvest, a hemp and natural foods producer in Winnipeg, Natura Naturals Holdings Inc., a licensed cannabis cultivation facility in Leamington, Ont., and Alef Biotechnology SpA, a licensed cannabis company in Chile. It also invested $7.5 million in Quebec-based cannabis producer ROSE Lifescience Inc.

Tilray has been cleared to import cannabis into the U.S. for medical purposes and its purchase of Alef allows it to import, produce and distribute Tilray branded medical cannabis throughout Latin America.

It also announced an alliance with Sandoz, part of Novartis Division, to supply medical cannabis products to patients around the world.

Its research partnerships include one into the effects of cannabis on cognitive function with Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney.

It is working with AB InBev to develop non-alcohol THC and CBD beverages and with Authentic Brands Group to market consumer cannabis in the U.S. and Canada.

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