HomeIndustry ReleasesLion Electric Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2023 Results

Lion Electric Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2023 Results

MONTREAL, Canada – The Lion Electric Company (NYSE: LEV) (TSX: LEV) (“Lion” or the “Company”), a leading manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles, today announced its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended on December 31, 2023. Lion reports its results in US dollars and in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”).

Q4 2023 Financial Report:
Revenue of $60.4 million, up $13.7 million, as compared to $46.8 million in Q4 2022.

Delivery of 188 vehicles, an increase of 14 vehicles, as compared to the 174 delivered in Q4 2022.

Gross loss of $9.1 million as compared to a gross loss of $4.8 million in Q4 2022.
Adjusted gross profit1 of $0.8 million as compared to adjusted gross loss of $4.8 million in Q4 2022.

Net loss of $56.5 million in Q4 2023, as compared to net loss of $4.6 million in Q4 2022.

Adjusted EBITDA2 of negative $6.3 million, as compared to negative $13.9 million in Q4 2022.

Additions to property, plant and equipment related to the Joliet Facility and the Lion Campus, amounted to $13.7 million, down $25.4 million, as compared to $39.1 million in Q4 2022. See section 8.0 of the Company’s MD&A for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023 entitled “Operational Highlights” for more information related to the Joliet Facility and the Lion Campus.

Additions to intangible assets, which mainly consist of vehicle and battery development activities, amounted to $17.8 million, down $3.5 million as compared to $21.3 million in Q4 2022.

Impairment of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment of $36.0 million and write-down of inventory of $9.8 million related to the LionA and LionM minibuses for which the Company made the decision to indefinitely delay the start of commercial production, as announced on November 7, 2023.

FY 2023 Financial Highlights:
Delivery of 852 vehicles, an increase of 333 vehicles, as compared to the 519 delivered in fiscal 2022.

Revenue of $253.5 million, up $113.6 million, as compared to $139.9 million in fiscal 2022.

Gross loss of $5.5 million, as compared to gross loss of $12.9 million in fiscal 2022.

Adjusted gross profit of $4.3 million as compared to adjusted gross loss of $12.9 million in fiscal 2022.
Net loss of $103.8 million, as compared to net earnings of $17.8 million in fiscal 2022.

Adjusted EBITDA of negative $34.3 million, as compared to negative $54.8 million in fiscal 2022.

Additions to property, plant and equipment related to the Joliet Facility and the Lion Campus, amounted to $72.2 million, down $75.8 million, as compared to $148.0 million in fiscal 2022. See section 8.0 of the Company’s MD&A for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023 entitled “Operational Highlights” for more information related to the Joliet Facility and the Lion Campus.

Additions to intangible assets, which mainly consist of vehicle and battery development activities, amounted to $67.2 million, down $11.9 million, as compared to $79.1 million in fiscal 2022.

Impairment of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment of $36.0 million and write-down of inventory of $9.8 million related to the LionA and LionM minibuses for which the Company made the decision to indefinitely delay of the start of commercial production, as announced on November 7, 2023.

Business Updates:
More than 1,850 vehicles on the road, with over 22 million miles driven (over 36 million kilometers).
Vehicle order book3 of 2,076 all-electric medium- and heavy-duty urban vehicles as of February 28, 2024, consisting of 285 trucks and 1,791 buses, representing a combined total order value of approximately $500 million based on management’s estimates.
LionEnergy order book of 132 charging stations and related services as of February 28, 2024, representing a combined total order value of approximately $4 million.
12 experience centers in operation in the United States and Canada.
Initiated commercial production of LionD units which led to the completion of first deliveries to customers in January 2024.
Successfully completed the final certification for medium duty Lion battery packs, paving the way for initial deliveries of Lion5 trucks.

The Company decided to proceed with the temporarily lay off of approximately 100 employees, mostly impacting the nightshift production workforce at its Saint-Jerome manufacturing facility. The measure aims at further rationalizing the Company’s cost structure in the context of prolonged challenges experienced by the Company, including delays and challenges associated with the processing and granting of various governmental subsidies and incentives, notably the ZETF program, which continue to negatively impact the Company’s scheduled deliveries and sales efforts, and at further aligning its production workforce with current production requirements. The Company will reassess its production needs in the context of any future developments, including any developments relating to the foregoing challenges.

“2023 has been a year of significant progress, marked by record vehicle deliveries and revenue, which translated into positive adjusted gross margins, and also by several achievements, including the construction and operation of our two new factories and the start of commercial production of our Lion5 electric truck and our LionD electric school bus. However, this past year has not been without its challenges, particularly as it relates to a volatile incentive environment that slowed down the pace of orders and deliveries,” commented Marc Bedard, CEO – Founder of Lion. “In 2024, with the growth capex investments now behind us, we will focus on driving growth in orders and deliveries, while diligently controlling costs and keeping a tight control of our liquidity, as we expect the volatile environment to persist for at least the next few months. Despite facing such uncertain environment, we remain committed to leveraging all investments made over the last 15 years, with the ultimate objective to reach profitability.” concluded Marc Bedard.

Select Explanations on Results of Operations for the Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2023.

Revenue:
For the three months ended December 31, 2023, revenue amounted to $60.4 million, an increase of $13.7 million, compared to the corresponding period in the prior year. The increase in revenue was primarily due to an increase in vehicle sales volume of 14 units, from 174 units (139 school buses and 35 trucks; 160 vehicles in Canada and 14 vehicles in the U.S.) for the three months ended December 31, 2022, to 188 units (178 school buses and 10 trucks; 107 vehicles in Canada and 81 vehicles in the U.S.) for the three months ended December 31, 2023, including the impact of a higher proportion of U.S. vehicle sales than in the corresponding period in the prior year.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, revenue amounted to $253.5 million, an increase of $113.6 million, compared to the year ended December 31, 2022. The increase in revenue was primarily due to an increase in vehicle sales volume of 333 units, from 519 units (409 school buses and 110 trucks; 471 vehicles in Canada and 48 vehicles in the U.S.) for the year ended December 31, 2022, to 852 units (771 school buses and 81 trucks; 625 vehicles in Canada and 227 vehicles in the U.S.) for the year ended December 31, 2023. Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023 were positively impacted by the impact of a higher proportion of U.S. vehicle sales as compared to fiscal 2022, however were negatively impacted by delays in the processing and granting of subsidies, which resulted in the postponement of deliveries of vehicles which were ready for delivery.

Cost of Sales:
For the three months ended December 31, 2023, cost of sales amounted to $69.5 million, representing an increase of $17.9 million compared to $51.5 million in the corresponding period in the prior year. The increase was primarily due to the $9.8 million write-down of inventory to net realizable value as a result of the decision to indefinitely delay the start of commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses, increased sales volumes and higher production levels, increased fixed manufacturing and inventory management system costs related to the ramp-up of production capacity, higher raw material and commodity costs, and the impact of the inflationary environment.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, cost of sales amounted to $259.0 million, representing an increase of $106.2 million, compared to the year ended December 31, 2022. The increase was primarily due to increased sales volumes and higher production levels, increased fixed manufacturing and inventory management system costs related to the ramp-up of production capacity, higher raw material and commodity costs, and the impact of the inflationary environment. In addition, cost of sales were impacted by the $9.8 million write-down of inventory to net realizable value as a result of the decision to indefinitely delay the commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses.

Gross Loss:
For the three months ended December 31, 2023, gross loss increased by $4.3 million, from a gross loss of $4.8 million for the corresponding period in the prior year, to a gross loss of $9.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2023. The increase in gross loss was primarily due to the negative impact of the $9.8 million write-down of inventory to net realizable value as a result of the decision to indefinitely delay the start of commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses, increased fixed manufacturing costs and inventory management system costs related to the ramp-up of future production capacity, higher raw material and commodity costs, product mix, and the impact of continuing global supply chain challenges and inflationary environment, partially offset by the positive gross profit impact of increased sales volumes.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, gross loss improved by $7.4 million to negative $5.5 million, compared to negative $12.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. The improvement was primarily due to the positive impact of increased sales volumes, favorable product mix, and higher manufacturing throughput, partially offset by higher raw material and commodity costs, higher inventory management system costs related to the ramp-up of production capacity, and the impact of the inflationary environment. Gross loss for the year ending December 31, 2023 was also negatively impacted by the $9.8 million write-down of inventory to net realizable value as a result of the decision to indefinitely delay the commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses.

Administrative Expenses:
For the three months ended December 31, 2023, administrative expenses increased by $3.0 million, from $10.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2022, to $13.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2023. Administrative expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2023 included $1.4 million of non-cash share-based compensation, compared to $2.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2022. Excluding the impact of non-cash share-based compensation, administrative expenses increased from $7.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2022, to $11.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2023. The increase was mainly due to an increase in expenses, including higher headcount, resulting from the expansion of Lion’s head office and general corporate capabilities.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, administrative expenses increased by $6.6 million, from $44.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, to $51.5 million. Administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2023 included $58.0 million of non-cash share-based compensation, compared to $59.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. Excluding the impact of non-cash share-based compensation, administrative expenses increased from $35.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2022 to $35.3 million for year ended December 31, 2023. The increase was mainly due to an increase in expenses and a higher headcount, both resulting from the expansion of Lion’s head office and general corporate capabilities. As a percentage of sales, administrative expenses represented 20% of net sales for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to 32% for the year ended December 31, 2022.

Selling Expenses:
For the three months ended December 31, 2023, selling expenses decreased by $2.5 million, from $5.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2022, to $3.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2023. Selling expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2023 included a recovery of $1.0 million of non-cash share-based compensation, compared to a charge of $0.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2022. Excluding the impact of non-cash share-based compensation, selling expenses decreased from $5.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2022, to $4.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2023. The decrease was primarily due to streamlined selling related expenses and lower marketing costs, partially offset by higher sales commissions related to higher revenue.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, selling expenses decreased by $3.3 million, from $23.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, to $19.7 million. Selling expenses for the year ended December 31, 2023 included $0.2 million of non-cash share-based compensation, compared to $2.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. Excluding the impact of non-cash share-based compensation, selling expenses decreased from $20.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, to $19.5 million for year ended December 31, 2023. The slight decrease was primarily due to streamlined selling related expenses, including lower headcount and marketing costs, partially offset by higher sales commissions related to higher revenue.

Restructuring Costs:
Restructuring costs of $1.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2023 and fiscal 2023 are comprised mainly of severance costs related to the workforce reduction announced on November 27, 2023.

Impairment of Intangible Assets and Property, Plant and Equipment:
Impairment of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment of $36.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2023 and fiscal 2023 relates to the write-down of previously capitalized vehicle development costs and property, plant and equipment which resulted from the Company’s decision to indefinitely delay the start of commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses, as announced on November 7, 2023.

Finance Costs (Income):
For the three months ended December 31, 2023, finance costs increased by $7.6 million compared to the corresponding period in the prior year. Finance costs for the three months ended December 31, 2023 were net of $1.8 million of capitalized borrowing costs, compared to $5.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2022. Excluding the impact of capitalized borrowing costs, finance costs increased by $4.3 million compared to the three months ended December 31, 2022. The increase was driven primarily by higher interest expense on long-term debt, due to higher average debt outstanding during the quarter relating to borrowings made under the Revolving Credit Agreement, the IQ Loan, the SIF Loan, the Finalta-CDPQ Loan Agreement, and the Supplier Credit Facility, interest and accretion expense as well as financing costs related to the Convertible Debentures and Non-Convertible Debentures issued in July 2023, and an increase in interest costs related to lease liabilities, including for the Battery Plant.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, finance costs increased by $16.9 million, from $1.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, to $17.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2023. Finance costs for the year ended December 31, 2023 were net of $6.5 million of capitalized borrowing costs, compared to $5.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. Excluding the impact of capitalized borrowing costs, finance costs increased by $18.3 million compared to the year ended December 31, 2022. The increase was driven primarily by higher interest expense on long-term debt, due to higher average debt outstanding during the year relating to borrowings made under the Revolving Credit Agreement, the IQ Loan, the SIF Loan, the Finalta-CDPQ Loan Agreement, and the Supplier Credit Facility (as such terms are defined below), interest and accretion expense as well as financing costs related to the Convertible Debentures and Non-Convertible Debentures issued in July 2023, and an increase in interest costs related to lease liabilities, including for the Battery Plant. In addition, finance costs for the year ended December 31, 2022 included a gain of $2.1 million on the derecognition of the financial liability occurred as a result of the termination of an agreement maturing on May 7, 2022 granting a private company with dealership rights in certain regions in the United States.

Foreign Exchange Loss (Gain):
Foreign exchange gains (loss) for both periods relate primarily to the revaluation of net monetary assets denominated in foreign currencies to the functional currencies of the related Lion entities. For the three months ended December 31, 2023, foreign exchange gain was $2.2 million, compared a loss of $0.6 million in the corresponding period in the prior year, related primarily to the impact of changes in the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar.

Foreign exchange loss (gain) relates primarily to the revaluation of net monetary assets denominated in foreign currencies to the functional currencies of the related Lion entities. For the year ended December 31, 2023, foreign exchange gain was $2.3 million, compared to a loss of $2.0 million in the prior year, related primarily to the impact of changes in foreign currency rates, related primarily to the impact of changes in the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar.

Change in Fair Value of Conversion Options on Convertible Debt Instruments:
For the three months ended December 31, 2023, change in fair value of conversion options on convertible debt instruments was a gain of $1.6 million, and was related to the revaluation of the conversion options on the Convertible Debentures issued in July 2023.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, change in fair value of conversion options on convertible debt instruments was a gain of $5.0 million, and was related to the revaluation of the conversion options on the Convertible Debentures issued in July 2023.

Change in Fair Value of Share Warrant Obligations:
Change in fair value of share warrant obligations moved from a gain of $15.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2022, to a gain of $9.1 million, for the three months ended December 31, 2023. The gain for the three months ended December 31, 2023, was related to the Specific Customer Warrants, the public and private Business Combination Warrants, the 2022 Warrants, and the July 2023 Warrants, and resulted mainly from the decrease in the market price of Lion equity as compared to the previous valuations.

Change in fair value of share warrant obligations moved from a gain of $101.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, to a gain of $21.0 million, for the year ended December 31, 2023. The gain for the year ended December 31, 2023 was related to the Specific Customer Warrants, the public and private Business Combination Warrants, the 2022 Warrants, and the July 2023 Warrants, and resulted mainly from the decrease in the market price of Lion equity as compared to the previous valuations.

Net Earnings (Loss):
The net loss for the three months ended December 31, 2023 as compared to the net loss for the corresponding prior period is higher as it includes the impacts of the inventory write-down and the impairment charge related to the delay of start of commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses, and it reflects higher administrative and selling expenses and finance costs, and lower gains related to non-cash decrease in the fair value of share warrant obligations, as compared to the comparative period in the prior year.

The net loss of $103.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2023 as compared to the net loss of $17.8 million for the prior year was largely due to an improvement in gross loss, inclusive of the impact of the inventory write-down related to the delay of the start of commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses, more than offset by higher administrative and selling expenses, the impairment charge related to the delay of the start of commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses, higher finance costs, and lower gains related to non-cash decrease in the fair value of share warrant obligations.

Conference Call:
A conference call and webcast will be held on February 29, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss the results. To participate in the conference call, please dial (404) 975-4839 or (833) 470-1428 (toll free) using the Access Code 863541. An investor presentation and a live webcast of the conference call will also be available at www.thelionelectric.com under the “Events and Presentations” page of the “Investors” section. An archive of the event will be available for a period of time shortly after the conference call.

Financial Report:
This release should be read together with the annual audited consolidated financial statements of the Company and the related notes for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the related management discussion and analysis (“MD&A”) for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023, which will be filed by the Company with applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and which will be available on SEDAR+ as well as on our website at www.thelionelectric.com. Capitalized terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the meaning ascribed to them in the MD&A.

Non-IFRS Measures and Other Performance Metrics:
This press release makes reference to Adjusted gross profit (loss), Adjusted gross margin, and Adjusted EBITDA, which are non-IFRS financial measures, as well as other performance metrics, including the Company’s order book, which are defined below. These measures are neither required nor recognized measures under IFRS, and, as a result, do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Rather, these measures are provided as additional information to complement those IFRS measures by providing further understanding of the Company’s results of operations from management’s perspective. Accordingly, they should not be considered in isolation nor as a substitute for analysis of the Company’s financial information reported under IFRS. Lion compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on Lion’s IFRS results and using Adjusted gross profit (loss), Adjusted gross margin, Adjusted EBITDA, and order book on a supplemental basis. Readers should not rely on any single financial measure to evaluate Lion’s business.

Adjusted Gross Profit (Loss) and Adjusted Gross Margin:
Adjusted gross profit (loss) is defined as gross profit (loss) before the impact of a non-cash charge to gross profit (loss) resulting from the inventory write-down recorded by the Company in connection with its decision to indefinitely delay the start of commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses, as described in section 8.0 of the Company’s MD&A for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023 entitled “Operational Highlights” and section 13.0 of the Company’s MD&A for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023 entitled “Results of Operations”. Adjusted gross margin is calculated as Adjusted gross profit (loss) divided by revenue. The Company has elected to introduce Adjusted gross profit (loss) and Adjusted gross margin in order to measure its performance at the gross margin level without the impact of this non-cash charge, which can affect the comparability of its financial results and could potentially distort the analysis of trends in its business performance. The Company believes that these measures are useful to management and investors as they facilitate period-to-period comparisons of the Company’s costs of sales and gross profit, including how efficiently the Company uses labor and materials for manufacturing goods sold to its customers, by excluding the impact of a non-cash charge that is not directly related to its operating performance. However, readers should be aware that when evaluating Adjusted gross profit (loss) and Adjusted gross margin, Lion may incur other charges similar to that excluded when calculating Adjusted gross profit (loss) in the future, and the exclusion of this charge should not be construed as an inference that a charge of a similar nature will not occur in the future. Readers should review the reconciliation of gross profit (loss), the most directly comparable IFRS financial measure, to Adjusted gross profit (loss) and Adjusted gross margin, which is presented by the Company under section 13.0 of the Company’s MD&A for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023 entitled “Results of Operations – Reconciliation of Adjusted Gross Profit (Loss) and Adjusted Gross Margin.”

Adjusted EBITDA:
“Adjusted EBITDA” is defined as net earnings (loss) before finance costs, income tax expense or benefit, and depreciation and amortization, adjusted to exclude restructuring costs, share-based compensation, change in fair value of conversion options on convertible debt instruments, change in fair value of share warrant obligations, foreign exchange (gain) loss and transaction and other non-recurring expenses. Adjusted EBITDA also excludes the impact of a non-cash impairment charge relating to intangible assets and property, plant and equipment resulting from the write-down of previously capitalized vehicle development costs and property, plant and equipment as well as the impact of a non-cash charge related to the inventory write-down referred to above, all of which were recorded by the Company in connection with its decision to indefinitely delay the start of commercial production of the LionA and LionM minibuses. Lion uses adjusted EBITDA to facilitate a comparison of the profitability of its business on a consistent basis from period-to-period and to provide a further understanding of factors and trends affecting its business. The Company also believes this measure is useful for investors to assess the Company’s profitability, its cost structure and its ability to service debt and to meet other payment obligations. However, readers should be aware that when evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, Lion may incur future expenses similar to those excluded when calculating Adjusted EBITDA. In addition, Lion’s presentation of these measures should not be construed as an inference that Lion’s future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items. Readers should review the reconciliation of net earnings (loss), the most directly comparable IFRS financial measure, to Adjusted EBITDA presented by the Company under section 13.0 of the Company’s MD&A for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023 entitled “Results of Operations – Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA.”

Order Book:
This press release also makes reference to the Company’s “order book” with respect to vehicles (trucks and buses) as well as charging stations. The Company’s vehicles and charging stations order book is determined by management based on purchase orders that have been signed, orders that have been formally confirmed by clients, or products in respect of which formal joint applications for governmental programs, subsidies or incentives have been made by the applicable clients and the Company. The order book is expressed as a number of units or a total dollar value, which dollar value is determined based on the pricing of each unit included in the order book as further explained under “Pricing” in section 10.0 of the Company’s MD&A for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023 entitled “Order Book”. The vehicles included in the vehicle order book as of February 28, 2024 provided for a delivery period ranging from a few months to the end of the year ending December 31, 2026, with substantially all of such vehicles currently providing for deliveries before the end of the year ending December 31, 2025. In addition, substantially all deliveries are subject to the granting of subsidies and incentives with processing times that are subject to important variations. There has been in the past and the Company expects there will continue to be variances between the expected delivery periods of orders and the actual delivery times, and certain delays could be significant. Also, there has been in the past and the Company expects there will continue to be variances in the eligibility criteria of the various programs, subsidies and incentives introduced by governmental authorities, including in their interpretation and application. Such variances or delays could result in the loss of a subsidy or incentive and/or in the cancellation of certain orders, in whole or in part.

The Company’s presentation of the order book should not be construed as a representation by the Company that the vehicles and charging stations included in its order book will translate into actual sales. See below for a full description of the methodology used by the Company in connection with the order book and certain important risks and uncertainties relating to such methodology and the presentation of the order book.

About Lion Electric:
Lion Electric is an innovative manufacturer of zero-emission vehicles. The company creates, designs and manufactures all-electric class 5 to class 8 commercial urban trucks and all-electric school buses. Lion is a North American leader in electric transportation and designs, builds and assembles many of its vehicles’ components, including chassis, battery packs, truck cabins and bus bodies.

Always actively seeking new and reliable technologies, Lion vehicles have unique features that are specifically adapted to its users and their everyday needs. Lion believes that transitioning to all-electric vehicles will lead to major improvements in our society, environment and overall quality of life. Lion shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LEV.

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