NSLC Announces Q1 Results

Halifax, August 27, 2019 – The NSLC released its first quarter results today (April 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2019). Compared to last year:

  • Net income (earnings) totaled $60 million; up $1.0 million or 1.7%
  • Total sales were $174.9 million; an increase of $18.1 million or 11.5%
  • Beverage alcohol sales were $158.8 million and recreational cannabis sales were $16.1 million.
  • Retail customer transactions (purchases) for beverage alcohol were down 0.5%, but the average dollar value of each transaction grew by 2.0% to $30.39
  • Retail customer transactions for cannabis totaled 449,707 transactions with an average dollar value of $35.73

We experienced overall growth in sales this quarter to $174.9 million, an increase of 11.5%, primarily due to cannabis sales which trended fairly consistently during this time. There were no cannabis sales in the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.

“Our people continue to be vigilant with our responsible retailing efforts,” said Greg Hughes, President & CEO. “Our employees asked customers who appear to be under the age of 30 for ID more than 597,000 times in this quarter.”

Local beverage alcohol and recreational cannabis products continue to be popular with customers and we again experienced tremendous growth in the sale of local ready-to-drink products.

Business Highlights

Sales Comparison by Category

Category Revenue Volume (Hectolitres sold by NSLC) Per Cent of Total Sales
Wine 3.4% to $35.4M 2.6% 20.3%
Spirits 1.7% to $39.7M 1.2% 22.7%
Beer 2.6% to $70.5M 4.2% 40.3%
Ready-To-Drink 18.7% to $13.1M 18.9% 7.5%
Cannabis $16.1M N/A 9.2%

Sales by Channel

Channel Sales Change
NSLC Retail Stores $144.1M $17.4M (13.8%)
Licensees (bars/restaurants/pubs) $13.8M $0.2M (1.5%)
Agency Stores (independently owned) $12.8M $0.2M (1.8%)
Private Wine and Specialty Stores $3.6M $0.0M (0.1%)
Other Wholesale $0.2M $0.1M (22.2%)
Online $0.4M $0.3M (386.2%)

Business Highlights

  • We achieved a customer satisfaction rate of 88% this quarter based on 14 performance factors.
  • We continued to invest in our store network across the province, with our newest Select store opening in Stewiacke in May. It carries more than 500 top-selling products and a community assortment of local favourites and products made nearby.
  • Cabbioke, the NSLC’s campaign designed to create awareness to enjoy beverage alcohol responsibly, will take part in 24 parades and 36 community events this year across the province.

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 ready-to-drink products had a strong quarter with sales increasing by 107.7% to $3.3 million. This strong growth was driven by coolers and ciders.
  • Nova Scotia spirit sales grew by 26.0% to $2.0 million. This category has experienced steady growth over the last couple of years.
  • Nova Scotia craft beer sales grew by 17.8% to $4.9 million. The NSLC now lists products from 30 local breweries, up from six breweries just six years ago.
  • Nova Scotia wine sales grew by 13.7% to $2.9 million.
  • Nova Scotia commercial beer contributed $40.0 million in sales, up $0.2M or 0.5%.
  • Nova Scotia commercial wine sales (produced in Nova Scotia with imported grapes) grew 0.1% to $5.5 million.
  • Nova Scotia produced cannabis accounted for 18.9% of cannabis sales this quarter as customers discover the quality of these products and support local businesses.

Operating Expense Ratio

The NSLC’s operating expense ratio for the quarter– including amortization and depreciation – was 17.0 % compared to 16.6% reported the prior year. 

Board Expenses

The NSLC released the Board of Directors’ expenses for the first quarter. These expenses amounted to $4.91 per Director, per day. An electronic version of these expenses are available HERE.

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 $200 million in Nova Scotia-produced products every year. For more information about the NSLC, please click HERE. 

For more information, please contact:  

Beverley Ware
Communications Advisor
O: (902) 450-5920 M: (902) 456-5040
Email: beverley.ware@myNSLC.com

Financial Highlights

For the quarter ended June 30, 2019

Q1 2019/2020 2018/2019
Sales Volume (Hectolitres) 200,986 203,692
Spirits $39,731,839 $39,063,934
Wine 35,440,475 34,259,103
Beer 70,536,040 72,426,824
Ready-To-Drink 13,091,766 11,031,515
Cannabis 16,066,790 N/A
Non-Liquor 23,753 23,700
Total Sales by Category $174,890,664 $156,805,075
Gross Profit $89,682,711 $85,027,385
Store Operating Expenses (17,219,762) (15,926,649)
Gross Operating income $72,462,949 $69,100,736
Other Corporate Expenses & Other earnings (12,434,823) (10,100,453)
Income from Operations $60,028,126 $59,000,283



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