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Currently, allow me briefly cover our operating costs. Generally, SG&A decreased by 7% over the contrast duration last year. Sales and also marketing costs lowered 25% year on year and 44% quarter on quarter driven by a number of variables. Initially, marketing and promotion expenditure declined by over $10 million versus the prior year due to delayed or canceled tasks as a result of COVID-19 and also in addition to elevated investing from in 2015 to record retail area - architectural awnings.
financial investment, yet Canada payment expenditures lowered due to headcount decreases. And also about Q4, compensation expenses declined by $4 million following our company restructuring actions as well as the short-lived furlough of corporate retail staff as a result of the closure of our business stores. G&A costs increased by 2% year over year however lowered 18% quarter over quarter due partially to a decline in expert fees, reduced facility expenses and also lower travel expenses.
R&D expenses lowered by 34% quarter on quarter as we are now reallocating our R&D initiatives to focus on projects that have high commercial return capacity with less emphasis on pharmaceutical-driven professional trials. Stock-based compensation expense in Q1 lowered 63% versus previous year to $28.6 million, partly because of the forfeit of choices resulting from personnel reductions that occurred during the quarter.
Next off, I would love to review free cash circulation. Our complimentary cash money flow in the initial quarter of fiscal '21 was a discharge of $181 million which mores than 50% enhancement contrasted to the previous year. Our working funding decreased year over year because of reduced inventory degrees. As well as importantly, we finished the quarter with inventory of $389 million, somewhat down from the prior quarter.
Capex decreased to $62 million, down both on a year-on-year basis and a quarter-on-quarter basis. As you can see in our quarterly outcomes, we are making progression versus our key monetary metrics that we offered at our June capitalist conference. On success, we supplied a decrease in SG&A lots as a percentage of sales, while we are working to return to our 40% gross margin target.
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Before I close, I would love to supply a few key aspects to think about on Q2. First, from an internet earnings standpoint, we expect progressive improvement in our Canadian Rec organisation as store openings in Ontario need to give continued tailwind. Our critical organisations need to remain to see solid growth from a new item launch as well as increased distribution, while we expect Storz & Bickel to see even more stabilized development in the 2nd quarter.
Third, while we anticipate a consecutive pickup in marketing expenditures and profession promo activities as COVID-related restrictions are lifted, we expect to see additional advantage from lowered head count as we finish our organizational review in coming months. So to summarize, we are progressing versus our calculated concerns, we remain concentrated on strengthening our business and functional execution, while keeping our monetary discipline - awning supplies.
Driver, David and also I would certainly be delighted to take concerns from wikipedia reference analysts. [Driver directions] Your first inquiry originates from Vivien Azer from Cowen. Please go ahead.-- Cowen and Business-- Expert Hi There. Thanks. Excellent morning. I wished to concentrate on your overview for prices. David, you noted some rate realignments on vapes and afterwards layered in addition to that clearly the value launch.
Simply trying to think regarding type of order of size, where you believe you're going to see one of the most press on the top line from the cost deflation that you discussed? Many thanks. awning canopy.-- Ceo Yeah. From a top-line standpoint, Viv, I think that we'll remain to see the worth blossom group grow.
But again, I believe that's simply a healthy and balanced advancement on the market. I likewise just desire to discuss that also. Like the-- as we proceed to function with challenges, as it associates with gross margins, our purpose is to deliver that above 40% gross margin, despite an expanding worth sector which means we simply have to progress our production properties to this hyperlink make sure that we can supply beneficially where the customer desires to invest - awning over door.
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-- Cowen and also Business-- Analyst Many Thanks. As well as if you could just comment on visit our website the vape price adjustments that you stated?-- President Yeah. I assume, Viv, we still have-- the marketplace is so young, it's-- it feels different to me than even more recognized markets where you see a fad start and also after that people have to adhere to.
And also we do not think that puts a whole lot of stress on our top line because we're just not all that big in vape, and we believe we have the margins to be a little more hostile which is why we're mosting likely to be a bit extra aggressive on 510s.
Thank you. Our Following inquiry originates from Tamy Chen from BMO Funding Markets. Please proceed.-- BMO Resources Markets-- Expert Yes, many thanks. Great early morning. Thanks for the concern. I desired to discuss the brand-new high THC difficulties that you set on your product quality for blossoms. So when I think of your existing expand assets, lots of are rather huge and some are quite labor-intensive.
So my inquiry is, I imply just how can these facilities I presume satisfy the new high THC obstacles that you've established for blossom consistently at scale, and do it at better margins than you're doing currently, specifically if pricing pressure remains to intensify?-- Principal Exec Officer Yeah, Tamy. So I think-- you could fix me if I'm incorrect right here, but I think like 88% of our result in the quarter was high-THC flower.
We're also doing a whole lot of work around optimizing that impact. We'll seek some products for-- to depend maybe a little bit on outdoor grow as we go ahead. So I believe it's much less about what we're capable of producing as well as perhaps even less concerning the margins in each facility.