22nd Century Group (XXII) Reports Second Quarter 2023 Financial Results

  • Second Quarter 2023 Net Revenues Increased 62% to $23.4 Million
  • Launched VLN® Sales in California, Texas and Florida
  • Delivered Record GVB Ingredient Volumes as Dominant Supplier in North America
  • Initiated Operating Cost Reduction Program Targeting $15+ Million in Annualized Savings
  • Updated 2023 Revenue Outlook to a Range of $80 Million to $90 Million to Reflect Revised VLN® Rollout Timelines and Transitioning GVB Ingredient Volumes Back to Internal Production

BUFFALO, N.Y., Aug. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII), a leading biotechnology company focused on utilizing advanced plant technologies to improve health and wellness with reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hops, today reported results for the Second quarter ended June 30, 2023, and provided an update on recent business highlights. The Company will host a live audio webcast today at 8:00 a.m. ET.

“Our focus in 2023 remains 22nd Century’s transformation from a primary emphasis on research and development to a fully commercial enterprise providing innovative harm reduction and consumer health and wellness products to key end markets. We have now significantly advanced our commercialization plan for VLN® sales across targeted states, 14 of which are now in place and two more states scheduled in September with a new drug store customer, a diversified hemp/cannabis ingredients and distribution business and a robust license and distribution business in both tobacco and hemp/cannabis,” and said John Miller, interim Chief Executive Officer of 22nd Century Group.

“Following an initial delay in our commercial plans earlier this year, which are common on retail launches, we have now substantially expanded the availability of our FDA authorized, reduced nicotine content cigarettes VLN®, a tobacco harm reduction product unlike any other. VLN® retail outlets and points of sale increased notably in the second quarter, then more than doubled with the additional stores added in July with our launch at the #1 U.S. c-store chain and others in California, Texas and Florida. New chains continue to launch, such as our first drug store channel placement expected to commence as a five-state launch in September. With this improved reach and density, we have updated and revised our sales planning to focus on maximizing our depth and maintaining the message within these channels to demonstrate proof of concept with the new brand marketing and retail chains throughout the rest of this year. Our revised and updated VLN plan will include a more focused, cost-efficient marketing and sales effort within our footprint and a commitment to streamline our operations relative to the first half that reflected heavier investment in new systems and logistics for the launch.”

“Our hemp/cannabis ingredients, manufacturing and licensing business reported another record quarter as 22nd Century continues to consolidate and leverage its industry leadership position. We believe the record ingredient volumes reflected both overall industry growth and increasing customer preference for our products over other less reliable sources. Initial sales under our new license and distribution agreements occurred in July, with additional scale expected in the second half, which is expected to provide a new source of revenue and gross profit. The return of our in-house manufacturing capabilities is expected to mean the return of manufacturing gross profits, helping to restore our verticalized operating profile that was directly affected by the fire last November.”

“In addition to these commercial opportunities, we are also implementing programs intended to reduce our operating costs by at least $15 million on an annualized basis. Much of this will reflect efficiencies and streamlining as we conclude a period of substantial extra upfront investment undertaken in the first half of 2023 to upgrade distribution, regulatory approvals, marketing, sales and research activities in support of our VLN® launch, which we are now aligning to the more focused ongoing needs for the commercial launch,” concluded Mr. Miller.

Recent Key Financial and Business Highlights

Tobacco Business

  • Continued multi-state VLN® rollout strategy, now selling in 14 targeted states for 2023.
  • More than doubled VLN® store counts in July after strong growth through the second quarter, with VLN now available in 2,800+ stores and the three largest state markets of Texas, California and Florida.
  • Launched new VLN® educational materials, distribution resources, retail incentives and media programming targeting adult smoker and influencer audiences.
  • Continued to scale support for Pinnacle, a private label conventional premium cigarette brand selling at one of the nation's top-10 gas station convenience store chains in 20+ states.
  • VLN® pilot activities continued in international markets of Switzerland, Japan and South Korea.
  • Poised to benefit from federal, state and international regulatory interest, including the proposed FDA menthol cigarette ban expected to be updated in August 2023, among others.

Hemp/Cannabis Business

  • Shipped record cannabinoid ingredient volumes, increased more than 188% year-over-year to more than 76,000 kgs supplied, as the largest provider of cannabinoid extracts and isolates in North America focused on cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) extracted and refined at industrial scale into distillates.
  • 1H 2023 ingredient volumes in excess of 144,000 kgs have already exceeded full-year 2022 shipments of more than 112,000 kgs.
  • In July resumed production of CBD distillate products at new GVB facilities located in Oregon, which should facilitate gross margin improvement on GVB produced cannabinoid products for the remainder of 2023.
  • Commenced CBD crude extract operations, providing opportunities for additional verticalization and related gross profit improvement.
  • Contracted new growing programs to cultivate hemp biomass for extraction, designed to improve both margin on and availability of biomass volumes sufficient to meet rising customer demand, with harvests expected 2H 2023.
  • Advanced distribution and point of sale activity to initial shipments in July 2023 for three-year exclusive license and distribution agreements with Cookies and Old Pal.
  • Advanced plans to restart CBD isolate production, expected in Q1 2024, which should further improve gross margin.

Corporate Updates

  • Revised the Company’s 2023 revenue outlook from a range of $105 million to $110 million to a range of $80 million to $90 million to account for changes in the launch timeline and scope of VLN® at certain key chains in 2023, transitioning GVB volumes back to internal production and the operating cost reduction plan.
  • Announced the resignation of James A. Mish as Chief Executive Officer, and appointed John Miller, who leads the tobacco business unit, as interim Chief Executive Officer.
  • Regained compliance with Nasdaq listing qualifications per a letter dated July 19, 2023.
  • Added Wall Street veteran Andy Arno as an Independent Director and member of the Board of Directors.
  • Raised an aggregate of $19.9 million in gross proceeds in June and July 2023.

Second Quarter 2023 Financial Results

  • Net revenues for the second quarter of 2023 were $23.4 million, an increase of 61.8% from the same period in 2022.
    • Revenue from tobacco-related products was $8.1 million, reflecting the Company’s transition away from low margin filtered cigar products to focus production and capacity on higher margin products, such as VLN® and Pinnacle.
    • Revenue from hemp/cannabis-related products was $15.4 million, as volumes continued to ramp on share gains.
      • Approximately $0.6 million of additional sales initially intended for the second quarter will instead be recognized in the third quarter due to shipment cutoff timing to accommodate the Fourth of July holiday.
  • Gross profit for the second quarter of 2023 was $(2.3) million as compared to $0.9 million in the prior year period.
    • Gross profit from tobacco-related products was $(1.0) million, reflecting the aforementioned lower margin product mix.
    • Gross profit from hemp/cannabis-related products was $(1.4) million, reflecting the final quarter of primarily ingredient trading activity due to the November 2022 plant fire; the Company is restarting production in its own ingredients at new facilities.
      • Second quarter gross profit was negatively impacted by approximately $2.4 million related to the plant fire.
      • The Company believes these losses are covered by its business interruption insurance coverage and has filed litigation to enforce its claim dating to the November 2022 plant fire.
    • Gross margin is expected to improve in the second half of 2023 reflecting:
      • Improving product margin mix for tobacco products reflecting reduced filtered cigar volume
      • New in-house GVB crude extraction and distillate production capabilities as opposed to reselling activities
      • The initial harvest of hemp/cannabis biomass expected to reduce raw material expenses in the second half of 2023
      • New CDMO+D contracts to begin shipping product in the second half of 2023.
  • Total operating expenses for the second quarter of 2023 were $17.0 million, driven by the addition of GVB operations, investment in the VLN® products sales and launch and ongoing investments in back-office support.
    • The Company announced a cost reduction initiative for the second half 2023, expected to generate at least $15 million in annualized operating cost reductions  
    • Cost reductions are intended to streamline the business, focusing operating activities on sustaining and growing the commercial footprint, following heavier initial investment required to support the commercial launches during 1H 2023
  • Operating loss and net loss for the second quarter of 2023 was $19.4 million, compared to $10.5 million in the prior year period.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $16.0 million, compared to prior year loss of $7.1 million. See the tables included in this release for a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) to net loss.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

  • As of June 30, 2023, the Company had $11.9 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash.
  • Subsequently, in July 2023, the Company raised approximately $14.6 million in additional gross proceeds in equity transactions.

Second Quarter 2023 Conference Call
22nd Century will host a live webcast today at 8:00 a.m. E.T. to discuss its second quarter 2023 financial results and business highlights.
The live webcast, interactive Q&A, and slide presentation will be accessible in the Events section on 22nd Century’s Investor Relations website at https://ir.xxiicentury.com/events-and-presentations/default.aspx. An archived replay of the webcast will also be available shortly after the live event has concluded.

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII) is a leading biotechnology company focused on utilizing advanced plant technologies to improve health and wellness through tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hops. With dozens of patents allowing it to control nicotine biosynthesis in the tobacco plant, the Company has developed proprietary reduced nicotine content (RNC) tobacco plants and cigarettes, which have become the cornerstone of the FDA’s Comprehensive Plan to address the widespread death and disease caused by smoking. The Company received the first and only FDA Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) authorization for a combustible cigarette in December 2021. In tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hop plants, 22nd Century uses modern plant breeding technologies, including genetic engineering, gene-editing, and molecular breeding to deliver solutions for the pharmaceutical and consumer products industries by creating new, proprietary plants with optimized alkaloid and flavonoid profiles as well as improved yields and valuable agronomic traits.

Learn more at xxiicentury.com, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on YouTube.

Learn more about VLN® at tryvln.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including but not limited to our full year business outlook. Forward-looking statements typically contain terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “consider,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “explore,” “foresee,” “goal,” “guidance,” “intend,” “likely,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “preliminary,” “probable,” “project,” “promising,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth in “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 9, 2023. All information provided in this release is as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Investor Relations & Media Contact
Matt Kreps
Investor Relations
22nd Century Group

(amounts in thousands, except per-share data)

  June 30, December 31,
Current assets:      
Cash and cash equivalents $4,433  $3,020 
Short-term investment securities     18,193 
Accounts receivable, net  8,736   5,641 
Inventories  14,318   10,008 
Insurance recoveries  3,000   5,000 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets  6,388   2,743 
Total current assets  36,875   44,605 
Property, plant and equipment, net  14,401   13,093 
Operating lease right-of-use assets, net  6,955   2,675 
Goodwill  33,360   33,160 
Intangible assets, net  21,526   16,853 
Investments  682   682 
Restricted cash  7,500    
Other assets  3,681   3,583 
Total assets $124,980  $114,651 
Current liabilities:      
Notes and loans payable - current $1,988  $908 
Current portion of long-term debt  1,960    
Operating lease obligations  1,082   681 
Accounts payable  6,449   4,168 
Accrued expenses  6,842   1,428 
Accrued payroll  2,426   3,199 
Accrued excise taxes and fees  2,704   1,423 
Deferred income  214   831 
Other current liabilities  1,438   380 
Total current liabilities  25,103   13,018 
Long-term liabilities:      
Notes and loans payable  185   3,001 
Operating lease obligations  6,118   2,141 
Long-term debt  15,326    
Other long-term liabilities  5,656   516 
Total liabilities  52,388   18,676 
Commitments and contingencies (Note 11)      
Shareholders' equity      
Preferred stock, $.00001 par value, 10,000,000 shares authorized      
Common stock, $.00001 par value, 33,333,334 shares authorized      
Capital stock issued and outstanding:      
15,926,803 common shares (14,349,275 at December 31, 2022)      
Common stock, par value      
Capital in excess of par value  349,206   333,900 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss  39   (111)
Accumulated deficit  (276,653)  (237,814)
Total shareholders' equity  72,592   95,975 
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $124,980  $114,651 

(amounts in thousands, except per-share data)

  Three Months Ended Six Months Ended
  June 30, June 30,
Revenues, net $23,427  $14,477  $45,389  $23,521 
Cost of goods sold  25,772   13,585   48,911   22,321 
Gross (loss) profit  (2,345)  892   (3,522)  1,200 
Operating expenses:            
Sales, general and administrative  14,540   8,684   28,771   15,946 
Research and development  1,793   1,897   3,310   3,036 
Other operating expense, net  675   787   1,573   839 
Total operating expenses  17,008   11,368   33,654   19,821 
Operating loss  (19,353)  (10,476)  (37,176)  (18,621)
Other income (expense):            
Unrealized loss on investments     (885)     (1,702)
Realized loss on short-term investment securities  (28)  (108)  (41)  (108)
Other income, net  16      34    
Interest income, net  65   48   122   98 
Interest expense  (1,193)  (77)  (1,614)  (82)
Total other expense  (1,140)  (1,022)  (1,499)  (1,794)
Loss before income taxes  (20,493)  (11,498)  (38,675)  (20,415)
Provision for income taxes  46      46    
Net loss $(20,539) $(11,498) $(38,721) $(20,415)
Deemed dividend from trigger of anti-dilution provision feature  (367)     (367)   
Net loss available to common shareholders $(20,906) $(11,498) $(39,088) $(20,415)
Basic and diluted loss per common share $(1.40) $(0.95) $(2.67) $(1.77)
Weighted average common shares outstanding - basic and diluted  14,900  $12,134   14,644   11,509 
Net loss  (20,539)  (11,498) $(38,721) $(20,415)
Other comprehensive loss:            
Unrealized gain (loss) on short-term investment securities  10   (69)  71   (469)
Foreign currency translation  42      38    
Reclassification of realized losses to net loss  28   108   41   108 
Other comprehensive income (loss)  80   39   150   (361)
Comprehensive loss $(20,459) $(11,459) $(38,571) $(20,776)

Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Measures

Below is a table containing information relating to the Company’s Net loss, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for the three and six month periods ended June 30, 2023 and 2022, including a reconciliation of these Non-GAAP measures for such periods.

  Quarter Ended
  June 30,
  Dollar Amounts in Thousands ($000's)
         $ Change
  fav / (unfav)
Net loss $(20,539) $(11,498) $(9,041)
Interest (income)/expense, net  1,129   29   1,100 
Provision for income taxes  46      46 
Amortization and depreciation  1,212   595   617 
EBITDA $(18,152) $(10,875) $(7,278)
Equity-based employee compensation expense  1,486   1,106   380 
Needlerock Farms settlement  10      10 
Grass Valley fire  256      256 
Loss on change of warrant liability  584      584 
Gain on change in contingent consideration  (217)     (217)
Acquisition costs  70   787   (717)
Unrealized loss on investment     885   (885)
Inventory step-up     978   (978)
Adjusted EBITDA $(15,963) $(7,118) $(8,845)

1Fav = Favorable variance, which increases EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA; Unfav = unfavorable variance, which reduces EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

  Year Ended
  June 30,
  Dollar Amounts in Thousands ($000's)
         $ Change
  fav / (unfav)
Net loss $(38,721) $(20,415) $(18,306)
Interest (income)/expense, net  1,492   (16)  1,508 
Provision for income taxes  46      46 
Amortization and depreciation  2,093   924   1,169 
EBITDA $(35,090) $(19,507) $(15,583)
Equity-based employee compensation expense  2,661   2,319   342 
Needlerock Farms settlement  756      756 
Grass Valley fire  324      324 
Loss on change of warrant liability  723      723 
Gain on change in contingent consideration  (195)     (195)
Acquisition costs  139   839   (700)
Unrealized loss on investment     1,702   (1,702)
Inventory step-up     978   (978)
Adjusted EBITDA $(30,682) $(13,669) $(17,013)

1Fav = Favorable variance, which increases EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA; Unfav = unfavorable variance, which reduces EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

Notes regarding Non-GAAP Financial Information

In addition to the Company’s reported results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”), the Company provides EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA.

In order to calculate EBITDA, the Company adjusts net (loss) income by adding back interest expense (income), provision (benefit) for income taxes, and depreciation and amortization expense from intangible assets. Adjusted EBITDA consists of EBITDA adjusted by the Company for certain non-cash and non-operating expense, including adding back equity-based employee compensation expense, (gain) loss on investments, acquisition costs, and any unusual or infrequently occurring items.

The Company believes that the presentation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are important financial measures that supplement discussion and analysis of its financial condition and results of operations and enhances an understanding of its operating performance. While management considers EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to be important, these financial performance measures should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for or superior to, other measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP, such as operating (loss) income, net (loss) income and cash flows from operations. Adjusted EBITDA is susceptible to varying calculations and the Company’s measurement of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to those of other companies.