Canopy Growth posts smaller loss as it cut costs, demand rose

(Reuters) - Canada's Canopy Growth Corp WEED.TOCGC.N reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday, as it cut costs and sales of its cannabis products to Americans and Canadians stuck at home surged, sending the pot producer's U.S.-listed shares 11% higher.

FILE PHOTO: A sign featuring Canopy Growth Corporation's logo is pictured at their facility in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 4, 2018 . REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Cannabis demand across companies rose as customers stockpiled during the coronavirus-led lockdowns, with so-called “cannabis 2.0” products, including chocolates, beverages, vapes, among the most sought-after items. Medical users also stocked up.

Canopy’s sales rose to C$110.4 million ($82.52 million) in the quarter, with revenue from global medical products surging 54% in the first quarter and 2.0 products adding C$7 million in their first full quarter of sales for Canopy.

“We grew our revenue year-over-year and are seeing market share improvement, notably achieving number one market share in cannabis-infused beverages in the Canadian market,” Chief Executive David Klein said in a statement.

Canopy and its peers launched programs to cut costs at the start of this year as investors shunned the cannabis industry’s extravagance and lack of profits.

Klein said the company has cut its headcount by over 18% this year, reduced expense and cash burn in the first quarter and will be “further optimizing” operations.

Canopy’s total operating expenses in the quarter fell 23% from last year.

Its cash and short-term investments at the end of the period were C$2 billion, same as at the end of the fourth-quarter, helped by Corona beer maker Constellation Brands Inc STZ.N raising its stake in Canopy to 38.6% in May.

The company’s adjusted loss of 25 Canadian cents per share was much smaller than loss estimates of 44 Canadian cents, according to Refinitiv IBES.

U.S.-listed shares of other Canadian pot producers also rose after Canopy's earnings, with Aphria Inc APHA.TOAPHA.N, Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB.TOACB.N and Cronos Group Inc CRON.TO gaining between 2% and 5%.

($1 = 1.3379 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi