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Wednesday, Dec 8, 2021
Mugglehead Magazine
Cannabis & psychedelics industry news based in Vancouver, B.C.
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Industry update

Aurora shares slump on latest round of job cuts

The Edmonton-based pot firm said it will lay off 214 workers and cut production at its flagship Aurora Sky facility

Shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX and NYSE: ACB) dipped 3 per cent Wednesday after the company said it’s laying off 214 workers in another round of cuts.

On Wednesday, the mega-producer said it will cut production by 75 per cent at its flagship Aurora Sky production site near its Edmonton headquarters and the city’s international airport.

In November, the company shuttered its Aurora Sun facility in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Reducing capacity will help the company focus on premium flower products and better align with current demand in the Canadian market, a spokesperson said in an email.  The company confirmed the 800,000-square-foot facility would wind down operations on Dec. 18.

Aurora said chief science officer Jonathan Page will be leaving the company and will take on an advisory role to help guide the transition.

The reductions will allow the firm to invest in the international medical sector and Aurora’s U.S. CBD brand Reliva, CEO Miguel Martin said in a statement.

Martin, who was appointed as CEO in September, says the cuts will aid future success.

“These hard decisions are being taken to improve cashflow and provide agility to our business,” he said.  “We will continue to make decisions and transform Aurora in the long-term best interests of our shareholders.”

Aurora Sky Facility Interior_Img11

Aurora Sky facility in Edmonton, Alberta. Press photo

The top boss says he’s helping the firm evolve its operations to align with Canadian sales trends. While monthly sales in the country steadily climb, licensed producers sat on nearly 900 metric tonnes of dried flower as of August.

This is the second round of major job cuts for Aurora this year.

In June, the firm laid off around 700 workers and closed five production facilities across four provinces.

Despite laying off over 1,200 employees this year, Aurora handed out millions in compensation and salary increases to its executives in its fiscal 2020 year.

According a document filed ahead of company’s annual general meeting on Nov. 12, all six of its named executive officers received a spike in share- or option-based pay.

Leading the pack was former CEO Terry Booth with a total compensation of $4,863,235.

Total compensation for the other five executives:

  • Chairman Michael Singer — $2,860,103
  • CFO Glen Ibbott — $2,346,117
  • Former director Steve Dobler — $1,441,174
  • COO Allan Cleiren — $1,780,771
  • CLO Jillian Swainson — $1,658,460

In September, the Edmonton-based producer reported a net loss of $1.86 billion in its fourth quarter, bringing its total 2020 fiscal year loss to $3.3 billion. Most of the losses were due to asset write downs.

Aurora stock dropped Wednesday to $12.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Read more: Despite mixed Q1 results, Aurora shares surge on Biden victory

Top image via Aurora

 

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