GLG Life Tech Corporation Reports 2020 Annual & Fourth Quarter Financial Results
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GLG Life Tech Corporation Reports 2020 Annual & Fourth Quarter Financial Results

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 10:00 PM
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VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / March 31, 2021 / GLG Life Tech Corporation (TSX:GLG) ("GLG" or the "Company"), a global leader in the agricultural and commercial development of high-quality zero-calorie natural sweeteners, announces financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020. The complete set of financial statements and management discussion and analysis are available on SEDAR and on the Company's website at www.glglifetech.com.

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

The Company reported revenues of $2.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, a $0.1 million decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 ($2.9 million). The Company reported a gross profit margin of 31% for the fourth quarter 2020, a 25 percentage point increase from the fourth quarter of 2019 (6%).

The Company reported revenues of $15.3 million for the year 2020, a $5.1 million increase compared to the year 2019 ($10.2 million). The Company reported a gross profit margin of 23% for the year 2020, an 8 percentage point increase from year 2019 (15%).

The Company continues to closely manage its SG&A expenses, resulting in reduced G&A expenses in both the fourth quarter and full year 2020 relative to the same periods in 2019.

For the three months ended December 31, 2020, the Company had a net loss attributable to the Company's shareholders of $6.4 million, a decrease of $1.4 million over the comparable period in 2019 ($7.8 million). The Company reported a net loss per share of $0.17 for the fourth quarter 2020, a $0.03 relative to the fourth quarter 2019 (loss of $0.20 per share).

For the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company had net income attributable to the Company's shareholders of $16.5 million, an increase of $35.8 million over the year 2019 (loss of $19.3 million). The Company reported net income per share of $0.43 for the year 2020, a $0.93 improvement relative to the year 2019 (loss of $0.50 per share).

CORPORATE DEVELOPMENTS

Sale of Idle Production Facility and Reduction of Debt

On August 10, 2020, the Company announced the sale of one of its two idle facilities, along with substantial reduction of the Company's debt.

After extensive negotiations stretching over multiple years, the Company has concluded the sale of its idle "Runhao" facility, located in Qingdao, China. Specifically, the Company sold the buildings and land use rights to the buyer, while retaining the assets, liabilities, and obligations of the Company's subsidiary entity that previously held the buildings and land use rights. The Company had not used the facility for several years and its sale will not have any impact on the Company's ongoing operations.

The deal involved not only the Company (as seller) and the buyer, but also the Company's primary bank debtholder, China Cinda Assets Management Corporation Anhui Branch ("Cinda"). Under the terms of the deal, from the sale proceeds of RMB 222 million (approximately CAD 42.5 million), Cinda received just over RMB 102 million, and as a result of this payment, Cinda further agreed to waive an additional approximately RMB 90 million in amounts owed to Cinda.

Thus, the Company reduced its overall liability to Cinda from RMB 570 million (as at March 31, 2020) to RMB 387 million (as at July 31, 2020), which is a reduction of RMB 193 million (approximately CAD 37 million) or a 34% reduction in the Company's obligations to Cinda. The carrying amounts of the Runhao buildings and land use rights were CAD 10.8 million.

Pursuant to the sale and the Chinese government's conditions for approval for the deal, the Company is required to use the remaining proceeds from the sale to satisfy the Company's tax obligation for Runhao, settle debts owed to certain third parties tied to the construction of Runhao, repay debts to a related party that has been instrumental in facilitating the Company's overall restructuring efforts, and pay settlement fees for the transaction. The deal was concluded in late July and the disposition of Runhao is recorded as effective within the third quarter of 2020.

This substantial reduction in debt significantly improves the Company's balance sheet. Further, pursuant to a prior agreement with Cinda announced on September 9, 2019, this debt reduction positions the Company for further waivers of amounts owed to Cinda as future payments are made to Cinda. The Company continues to work closely with Cinda regarding its obligations and its plans to resolve those obligations through payments, waivers, and potentially a partial conversion of debt to equity in the Company's main Chinese subsidiary, Anhui Runhai Biotechnology Joint Stock Company.

Subsidiary Share Repurchase

Following the sale of the Runhao subsidiary, on July 31, 2020, the Company repurchased 31.77% of its ownership in Runhai from certain related parties for the payment of $11,625,100 (RMB 60,500,000) pursuant to a right held by the non-controlling interest to require the Company to buy out all or part of the shares. The Company's ownership interest in Runhai increased to 98.85% from 67.08%, and the non-controlling interest in Runhai is reduced to 1.15%. The ownership change was recorded as an equity transaction.

Changes to Executive Team

Mr. Finnsson, the Company's CFO since March of 2019, tendered his resignation, for personal reasons, effective June 30, 2020. Management thanks Mr. Finnsson for his service. The Company has appointed Mr. Edward Wang, the Company's current Controller, as Acting Chief Financial Officer.

Additionally, the Company previously announced that its President, Paul Block, and the Company agreed that Mr. Block would step down as President with an effective date of June 25, 2020. Mr. Block remained a Director of the Company but opted to not run for re-election at the Company's upcoming Annual General and Special Meeting.

Dr. Luke Zhang, Chairman and CEO, in addition to his focus on overseeing the Company's Chinese subsidiaries and efforts to restructure the Company's debt, is continuing to manage the Company's North American team to increase sales, manage costs, and improve the Company's financial performance. "I would like to thank Paul for his years of service on our Board of Directors and for his contributions to our management team over the last eighteen months. I wish Paul well in his future endeavors," said Dr. Zhang.

Issuance and Revocation of Management Cease Trade Order

Due to a previously announced delay in filing of the Company's 2019 year-end financial statements and related documents, such delay arising from the impact of COVID-19 on the Company's ability to timely complete the filing, on May 15, 2020, the Company announced that it had applied for and been issued a Management Cease Trade Order ("MCTO") by the relevant securities commissions. Shortly after completing the filing, the MCTO was revoked on June 8, 2020.

Company Outlook

One of the most critical items that management has focused on and continues to focus on is the development and implementation of plans to stem the losses that the Company has suffered in recent years and to ameliorate the Company's financial position. As a result of those sustained losses, the Company lacks the cash necessary to fully fund the business operations and its strategic product initiatives. The Company is managing its cash flows carefully to mitigate risk of insolvency. Management has been successful in improving the Company's cash outlook in recent quarters. Nevertheless, without an infusion of cash in the months ahead, the Company may not be able to realize its strategic plans and could eventually cease to be a going concern.

To address that cash need, management has negotiated a CAD $1 million revolving loan facility with a related party for working capital purposes. Management has also realized the sale of one of its two idle assets; the sale of the "Runhao" facility resulted in significant debt reduction and better positions the Company to be able to access additional lines of working capital. Management is also evaluating options for its idle "Runyang" primary processing facility in Jiangsu province to further address its cash needs and balance sheet.

Another factor contributing to the Company's financial situation is the competitive price pressure in the stevia market over the last year that has reduced mainstream "Reb A" products (such as Reb A 80 and Reb A 97) to the lowest price levels in years. While these products have historically formed the core of the Company's product sales, the margins on sales of these products have grown increasingly slim. To address this, the Company is taking a three-pronged approach.

First, the Company has taken decisive steps to reduce its SG&A costs as well as its production costs. Both its North American operations and Chinese operations have significantly reduced SG&A costs. For the last several years, the Company's production capacity has been far greater than its projected order levels as it had sought rapid increases in orders for Reb A products. The Company's goal is now to "right-size" its Chinese operations - i.e., to optimize its staffing and production planning to meet the Company's projected production requirements while retaining the ability to accommodate growth in future order volumes. Management expects that this will enable the Company to sell its goods at more competitive and/or more profitable prices to secure additional order volumes and/or retain additional margin.

Second, the Company is increasing its focus on specialty stevia products, relative to its Reb A products. These specialty products are more differentiated than Reb A products and can bring more revenue opportunities and more meaningful margin contributions to the Company's bottom line.

Third, the Company is exploring options to enter the CBD/hemp market, where it could leverage its production expertise and equipment towards an investment that would jump start its ability to quickly begin producing high-quality low-cost products. The Company has also entered into a distributorship agreement with East West Pharma Group for the distribution of its high-quality cannabidiol ("CBD") products and continues to explore other complementary opportunities in the CBD/hemp market.

While the Company continues to face substantial risks and 2021 remains a pivotal year for the Company, management remains optimistic about the future opportunities for the Company. With the first idle asset sale now closed, right-sizing efforts progressing well, the optimization of production efficiencies, costs, and planning, and the Company's refocused product strategies, management is proceeding down the best available path to increased financial stability and profitability.

2020 AGM Voting Results

The Company held its Annual General Meeting virtually on July 28, 2020. The shareholders voted in all nominated directors, with favorable votes for each exceeding 99%. Dr. Luke Zhang continues as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer and Brian Palmieri continues as Vice Chairman of the Board.

SELECTED FINANCIALS

As noted above, the complete set of financial statements and management discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2020, are available on SEDAR and on the Company's website at www.glglifetech.com.

Results from Operations

The following results from operations have been derived from and should be read in conjunction with the Company's annual consolidated financial statements for 2020 and 2019.

 
  3 Months Ended December 31     % Change     12 Months Ended December 31     % Change  
In thousands Canadian $, except per share amounts
  2020     2019           2020     2019        
Revenue
  $ 2,784     $ 2,928       (5 %)   $ 15,290     $ 10,150       51 %
Cost of Sales
  $ (1,929 )   $ (2,744 )     (30 %)   $ (11,722 )   $ (8,593 )     (36 %)
% of Revenue
    (69 %)     (94 %)     24 %     (77 %)     (85 %)     8 %
Gross Profit (Loss)
  $ 855     $ 185       362 %   $ 3,568     $ 1,557       129 %
% of Revenue
    31 %     6 %     24 %     23 %     15 %     8 %
Expenses
  $ (438 )   $ (1,897 )     (77 %)   $ (5,736 )   $ (8,895 )     (36 %)
% of Revenue
    (16 %)     (65 %)     49 %     (38 %)     (88 %)     50 %
Net Income (Loss) from Operations
  $ 416     $ (1,712 )     124 %   $ (2,169 )   $ (7,338 )     70 %
% of Revenue
    15 %     (58 %)     73 %     (14 %)     (72 %)     58 %
Other Income (Expenses)
  $ 4,402     $ (8,321 )     153 %   $ 30,252     $ (17,678 )     271 %
% of Revenue
    158 %     (284 %)     442 %     198 %     (174 %)     372 %
Net Income (Loss) before Income Taxes
  $ 4,818     $ (10,033 )     148 %   $ 28,083     $ (25,016 )     212 %
% of Revenue
    173 %     (343 %)     516 %     184 %     (246 %)     430 %
Net Income (Loss)
  $ 4,818     $ (10,033 )     148 %   $ 28,083     $ (25,016 )     212 %
% of Revenue
    173 %     (343 %)     516 %     184 %     (246 %)     430 %
Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Non-Controlling Interest (NCI)
  $ 11,195     $ (2,248 )     598 %   $ 11,557     $ (5,725 )     302 %
Net Income (Loss) Attributable to GLG
  $ (6,377 )   $ (7,785 )     18 %   $ 16,526     $ (19,291 )     186 %
% of Revenue
    (229 %)     (266 %)     37 %     108 %     (190 %)     298 %
Net Income (Loss) per share (LPS, Basic & Diluted)
  $ (0.17 )   $ (0.20 )     16 %   $ 0.43     $ (0.50 )     186 %
Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)
  $ (9,753 )   $ (796 )     (1125 %)   $ (3,405 )   $ 4,506       (176 %)
% of Revenue
    (350 %)     (27 %)     (323 %)     (22 %)     44 %     (67 %)
Comprehensive Net Income (Loss)
  $ (4,935 )   $ (10,829 )     54 %   $ 24,678     $ (20,510 )     220 %
Comprehensive Income (Loss) Attributable to NCI
  $ 10,449     $ (2,703 )     (487 %)   $ 10,829     $ (4,443 )     344 %
Comprehensive Income (Loss) Attributable to GLG
  $ (15,384 )   $ (8,126 )     (89 %)   $ 13,849     $ (16,067 )     186 %
% of Revenue
    (553 %)     (278 %)     (275 %)     91 %     (158 %)     249 %

Revenue

Revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2020, was $2.8 million compared to $2.9 million in revenue for the same period last year. Sales decreased by 5% or $0.1 million for the period ending December 31, 2020, compared to the prior period. The sales decrease of $0.1 million was driven primarily by a decrease in stevia sales, which was partly offset by an increase in monk fruit sales. China domestic stevia sales were also down between the two periods, and international sales continue to predominate, making up 98% of the Company's revenues (versus 95% in fourth quarter 2019).

Revenue for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, was $15.3 million compared to $10.2 million in revenue for the same period last year. Sales increased by 51% or $5.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the prior period. The sales increase of $5.1 million was driven by increases in both international stevia and international monk fruit sales. Offsetting these increases, China domestic sales were down for the 2020 period, versus the 2019 period, but the impact was relatively small as international sales made up 96% of full-year 2020 revenues (versus 89% for the same period in 2019).

Cost of Sales

For the quarter ended December 31, 2020, the cost of sales was $1.9 million compared to $2.7 million in cost of sales for the same period last year ($0.8 million or 30% increase). Cost of sales as a percentage of revenues was 69% for the fourth quarter 2020, compared to 94% for the comparable period, an improvement of 25 percentage points. The improvement in cost of sales as a percentage of revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2020, compared to the prior comparable period, is partly attributable to an adjustment made to full-year depreciation, which was recognized in the fourth quarter and some of which flows to the cost of goods. The Company also continued its focus on reducing production costs, which resulted in improvements in both monk fruit costs and stevia costs as percentages of revenue.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the cost of sales was $11.7 million compared to $8.6 million for the same period last year (an increase of $3.1 million or 36%). Cost of sales as a percentage of revenues was 77% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, compared to 85% in the comparable period in 2019, an improvement of 8 percentage points. The improvement in cost of sales as a percentage of revenue for the full year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the prior comparable period, is attributable to (1) a change in mix of products sold, with a greater percentage of stevia sales coming from higher-margin stevia products and (2) a reduction in idle capacity charges related to the disposition of the Runhao subsidiary; these factors were partly offset by (3) a greater percentage of overall sales coming from lower-margin monk fruit products.

Capacity charges charged to the cost of sales ordinarily would flow to inventory and are a significant component of the cost of sales. Only two of GLG's manufacturing facilities were operating during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, and capacity charges of $1.4 million were charged to cost of sales (representing 12% of cost of sales) compared to $1.6 million charged to cost of sales in the same period of 2019 (representing 18% of cost of sales).

Gross Profit (Loss)

Gross profit for the three months ended December 31, 2020, was $0.9 million, compared to a gross profit of $0.2 million for the comparable period in 2019. The gross profit margin was 31% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to 6% for the same period in 2019, an increase of 25 percentage points. This 25 percentage point increase in gross profit margin for the fourth quarter of 2020, relative to the comparable period in 2019, is partly attributable to an adjustment made to full-year depreciation, which was recognized in the fourth quarter and some of which flows to the cost of goods. The Company also continued its focus on reducing production costs, which resulted in improvements in both monk fruit costs and stevia costs as percentages of revenue.

Gross profit for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, was $3.6 million, compared to a gross profit of $1.6 million for the comparable period in 2019. The gross profit margin was 23% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, compared to 15% for the same period in 2019, an increase of 8 percentage points. This 8 percentage point increase in gross profit margin for the year 2020, relative to the year 2019, is attributable to (1) a change in mix of products sold, with a greater percentage of stevia sales coming from higher-margin stevia products and (2) a reduction in idle capacity charges related to the disposition of the Runhao subsidiary; these factors were partly offset by (3) a greater percentage of overall sales coming from lower-margin monk fruit products.

Selling, General, and Administration Expenses

Selling, General and Administration ("SG&A") expenses include sales, marketing, general and administration costs ("G&A"), stock-based compensation, and depreciation and amortization expenses on G&A fixed assets. A breakdown of SG&A expenses into these components is presented below:

General and Administration Expenses

In thousands Canadian $
  3 Months Ended December 31     % Change     12 Months Ended December 31     % Change  
 
  2020     2019           2020     2019        
G&A Expenses
  $ 539     $ 1,319       (59 %)   $ 3,997     $ 6,366       (37 %)
Stock Based Compensation Expenses
  $ 45     $ 149       (70 %)   $ 360     $ 598       (40 %)
Depreciation Expenses
  $ (146 )   $ 429       134 %   $ 1,379     $ 1,931       (29 %)
Total
  $ 438     $ 1,897       (77 %)   $ 5,736     $ 8,895       (36 %)

G&A expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2020, were $0.5 million, a decrease of $0.8 million compared to $1.3 million in the same period in 2019. The $0.8 million decrease in G&A expenses was driven primarily by reductions in salary, consulting fees (including an adjustment in accrued consulting fees effective for the full year 2020 and recognized in the fourth quarter 2020), office expenses, rental expenses, insurance, travel and professional fees.

G&A expenses for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, were $4.0 million, a decrease of $2.4 million compared to $6.4 million in the same period in 2019. The $2.4 million decrease in G&A expenses was driven primarily by reductions in salary, consulting fees, business taxes and licenses, professional fees, research and development, office expenses, travel, meals and entertainment, and insurance.

Net Loss Attributable to the Company

 
  3 Months Ended December 31     % Change     12 Months Ended December 31     % Change  
In thousands Canadian $
  2020     2019           2020     2019        
Net Income (Loss)
  4,818     (10,033 )     148 %   28,083     (25,016 )     212 %
Net Income (Loss) Attributable to NCI
  11,195     (2,248 )     598 %   11,557     (5,725 )     302 %
% of Revenue
    402 %     (77 %)     479 %     76 %     (56 %)     132 %
Net Income (Loss) Attributable to GLG
  (6,377 )   (7,785 )     18 %   16,526     (19,291 )     186 %
% of Revenue
    (229 %)     (266 %)     37 %     108 %     (190 %)     298 %

For the three months ended December 31, 2020, the Company had a net loss attributable to the Company of $6.4 million, a decrease of $1.4 million over the comparable period in 2019 (loss of $7.8 million). The $1.4 million decrease in net loss attributable to the Company was driven by (1) an increase in other income ($12.7 million) and (2) an increase in net income from operations ($2.1 million), which were offset by (3) an increase in net income attributable to non-controlling interests ($13.4 million).

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company had net income attributable to the Company of $16.5 million, an increase of $35.8 million over the comparable period in 2019 (loss of $19.3 million). The $35.8 million increase in net income attributable to the Company was driven by (1) an increase in other income ($47.9 million) attributable primarily to disposal of the Company's Runhao subsidiary and (2) a decrease in net loss from operations ($5.2 million), which were offset by (3) an increase in net income attributable to non-controlling interests ($17.3 million).

Quarterly Basic and Diluted Loss per Share

The basic loss and diluted loss per share from operations was $0.17 for the three months ended December 31, 2020, compared with a basic and diluted net loss of $0.20 for the comparable period in 2019.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the basic income and diluted income per share from operations was $0.43, compared with a basic and diluted net loss of $0.50 for the same period in 2019.

Additional Information

Additional information relating to the Company, including our Annual Information Form, is available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). Additional information relating to the Company is also available on our website (www.glglifetech.com).

For further information, please contact:
Simon Springett, Investor Relations
Phone: +1 (604) 669-2602 ext. 101
Fax: +1 (604) 662-8858
Email: [email protected]

About GLG Life Tech Corporation

GLG Life Tech Corporation is a global leader in the supply of high-purity zero calorie natural sweeteners including stevia and monk fruit extracts used in food and beverages. GLG's vertically integrated operations, which incorporate our Fairness to Farmers program and emphasize sustainability throughout, cover each step in the stevia and monk fruit supply chains including non-GMO seed and seedling breeding, natural propagation, growth and harvest, proprietary extraction and refining, marketing and distribution of the finished products. Additionally, to further meet the varied needs of the food and beverage industry, GLG has launched its Naturals+ product line, enabling it to supply a host of complementary ingredients reliably sourced through its supplier network in China. For further information, please visit www.glglifetech.com.

Forward-looking statements: This press release may contain certain information that may constitute "forward-looking statements" and "forward looking information" (collectively, "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or words and phrases that state or indicate that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.

While the Company has based these forward-looking statements on its current expectations about future events, the statements are not guarantees of the Company's future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include amongst others the effects of general economic conditions, consumer demand for our products and new orders from our customers and distributors, changing foreign exchange rates and actions by government authorities, uncertainties associated with legal proceedings and negotiations, industry supply levels, competitive pricing pressures and misjudgments in the course of preparing forward-looking statements. Specific reference is made to the risks set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form for the financial year ended December 31, 2020. In light of these factors, the forward-looking events discussed in this press release might not occur.

Further, although the Company has attempted to identify factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

As there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: GLG Life Tech Corporation

GLG Life Tech Corporation
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