NSLC Announces Year End Results

Halifax, June 19, 2018 – The NSLC released its year-end results today (April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018). Compared to last year:

  • Net income (earnings) totaled $238.6 million; down $0.6 million or 0.3%
  • Total sales were $625.7 million; an increase of $13.8 million or 2.3%
  • Total volume of beverage alcohol sold was up 0.9%
  • Overall retail customer transactions (purchases) were up 0.2%, and the average dollar value of each transaction grew by 1.9%


“We experienced a year of strong growth with an increase in sales across all product categories,” said Bret Mitchell, NSLC President & CEO. “A number of factors contributed to that growth, including investing in our store network, hosting popular events and the sale of locally made products.”


Mitchell said the corporation also focused on employee training and development as the NSLC strives to deliver superb and responsible customer service.


“I’m very proud of our team and all that was accomplished over the past year,” Mitchell said.

Business Highlights

Sales Comparison by Category

Category Revenue Volume (Hectolitres sold by NSLC) Per Cent of Total Sales
Wine 4.7% to $144.5M 3.2% 23.1%
Spirits 1.6% to $165.7M 0.9% 26.5%
Beer 0.8% to $278.1M 0.1% 44.5%
Ready-To-Drink 7.7% to $37.2M 6.0% 5.9%

Sales by Channel

Channel Sales Change
NSLC Retail Stores $511.5M $10.6M (2.1%)
Licensees (bars/restaurants/pubs) $53.1M $0.6M (1.2%)
Agency Stores (independently owned) $47.6M $1.6M (3.5%)
Private Wine and Specialty Stores $12.6M $2.1M (19.6%)
Other Wholesale $0.9M $0.2M (26.9%)

Operating Expense Ratio

The NSLC’s operating expense ratio for the year – including amortization and depreciation – was 16.4% compared to 16.0% reported the prior year.

Board Expenses

The NSLC released the Board of Directors’ expenses for the fourth quarter. These expenses amounted to $5.01 per Director, per day. An electronic version of these expenses is available HERE. 

Local Product Sales Highlights

The growth in local industry continues to be strong, driven by innovation in the categories, the expansion of businesses and quality products.

  • Nova Scotia wine sales grew by 13.7% to $11.3 million.
  • Nova Scotia craft beer sales grew by 49.3% to $13.0 million. The NSLC now lists products from 20 local breweries, up from three breweries just five years ago.
  • Nova Scotia spirit sales grew by 70.5% to $6.0 million. This is steady growth over the last couple of years with products like Blue Lobster Vodka, Willing to Learn Gin and Fisherman’s Helper Rum. Fortress Amber Rum was also a top performer.
  • Nova Scotia commercial wine sales (produced in Nova Scotia with imported grapes) were up 2.5% to $23.0 million.
  • Nova Scotia commercial beer contributed $157 million in sales.
  • Nova Scotia ready-to-drink products, which are largely ciders, had a strong year with sales increasing by 45.0% to $4.3 million. This strong growth was driven by cider, especially products like No Boats on Sunday.

About the NSLC

For over eighty years, the NSLC has been managing the safe and responsible sale of beverage alcohol in Nova Scotia, returning 100% of its profits to government to help fund key public services. As a true partner in our communities, the NSLC conducts its business with integrity and respect for the environment, while supporting the sale of more than $190 million in locally-produced products every year. For more information about the NSLC, please visit our website atmyNSLC.com.

For more information please contact:
Beverley Ware
Communications Advisor
Phone: Office (902) 450-5920 Mobile (902) 456-5040
Email: Beverley.Ware@mynslc.com


Financial Highlights

For the quarter ended March 31, 2018 

Q3 2017/2018 2016/2017
Sales Volume (Hectolitres) 155,108 152,590
Spirits $34,865,830 $33,746,475
Wine 28,629,424 27,039,540
Beer 55,000,062 54,064,678
Ready-To-Drink 6,003,872 5,278,362
Non-Liquor 19,305 17,351
Total Sales by Category $124,518,493 $120,146,405
Gross Profit $68,224,759 $66,353,487
Store Operating Expenses (15,205,902) (14,498,516)
Gross Operating income $53,018,857 $51,854,971
Other Corporate Expenses & Other earnings (11,574,538) (9,988,679)
Income from Operations $41,444,319 $41,866,293


For the 12 months ended March 31, 2018

Q3 2017/2018 2016/2017
Sales Volume (Hectolitres) 788,393 781,122
Spirits $165,727,870 $163,151,976
Wine 144,503,632 138,046,988
Beer 278,125,562 275,995,249
Ready-To-Drink 37,174,373 34,520,983
Non-Liquor 130,455 129,846
Total Sales by Category $625,661,892 $611,845,042
Gross Profit $341,524,904 $336,935,361
Store Operating Expenses (63,555,752) (61,334,942)
Gross Operating income $277,969,152 $275,600,419
Other Corporate Expenses & Other earnings (39,363,462) (36,379,219)
Income from Operations $238,605,690 $239,221,200



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