NSLC releases Third Quarter financial performance

Halifax – February 21, 2023 – The NSLC released its third-quarter financial results today (October 3, 2022 – January 1, 2023), reporting a 6.6% increase in earnings for a total of $78.9 million. 

“We were pleased to support new programs and initiatives focused on responsible consumption of the products we offer, especially throughout the holiday season,” said Greg Hughes, President & CEO. This included supporting MADD Canada programs for youth as well as its holiday season sober driving campaign and partnering with Halifax Transit to provide free rides to more than 32,000 riders on the busiest weekend of the season.

Total sales for the quarter were up 6.1% to $228.1 million with an increase in both cannabis and beverage alcohol sales. There was a 5.6% increase in beverage alcohol sales to $200.5 million and a 9.2% increase in cannabis sales to $27.6 million. 

“We continue to support local producers by collaborating with local supplier and industry associations, providing marketing support, research, and in-store promotions,” Hughes said. “In addition, we  increased the number of local products we offer our customers this quarter compared to the same time last year.”

Sales of local beverage alcohol and cannabis increased 11.7% overall to $32.3 million. Nova Scotia ready-to-drink products, specifically coolers, led the growth in local beverage alcohol at 19.1% to $7.6 million this quarter, with cider accounting for $1.7 million in sales. Nova Scotia cannabis sales grew 29.9% to $8.5 million.

Sales to Private Wine and Specialty Stores were up 52.1% to $5.4 million compared to the same time last year. Sales to bars, pubs and restaurants were up 46.4% to $13.4 million, impacted by the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship that began in Halifax on December 26.

The NSLC continues to improve access to cannabis with the opening of a new cannabis store in Inverness for a total of 46 cannabis stores across the province. We also reduced the average price per gram a further 1.1% to $6.30 compared to the same time last year as we work to impact illicit sales in the province. Local product now accounts for 31.0% of all cannabis sales. 

Corporate social responsibility is the core of who we are. Our people are driven by the good we do and our commitment to having a positive impact on the communities we serve, through making valuable contributions to organizations across Nova Scotia, volunteering their time, and raising funds for their local communities. Throughout the third quarter, NSLC teams donated winter warming kits, filled out holiday cards for seniors experiencing loneliness, and donated food to Feed Nova Scotia and Hope Cottage. In all, 175 NSLC employees volunteered more than 1,200 hours to give back to our communities throughout the quarter. With the support of our supplier partners, generous customers and participating Agency stores, our team members raised more than $310,000 for our three community partners, Feed Nova Scotia, Habitat for Humanity, and MADD Canada.

Q3 Business Highlights

  • Our diligent front-line employees asked customers who appeared to be under the age of 30 for valid photo ID 567,970 times and refused service 5,227 times.
  • As provincial sponsor, the NSLC attended the launch of the 2022/2023 MADD Canada School Program at two Halifax-area schools.
  • Together with our team members, supplier partners, generous customers, and participating Agency stores, we donated a total of $310,365 across our three community partners, Feed Nova Scotia, Habitat for Humanity, and MADD Canada. Other employee initiatives included:
    • Donating more than 55 winter warming kits to the United Way and signing 380 holiday cards for seniors in the community.
    • Donating more than 25 boxes of non-perishable food to the Stuff-A-Bus event and cooked food to Hope Cottage.
    • Volunteering 150 hours to initiatives including Habitat Re-Store, Ronald McDonald Home for Dinner program, and the meal donation program Joan’s Table.
  • We renovated our store in Inverness and added a cannabis section.

Financial Highlights (compared to the same period last year):

  • Net income (earnings) totaled $78.9 million; up $4.9 million or 6.6%.
  • Total sales were $228.1 million; an increase of $13.0 million or 6.1%, due to increases in both beverage alcohol and cannabis sales.
  • Cannabis sales were $27.6 million, an increase of 9.2%. 
  • Beverage alcohol sales were $200.5 million, an increase of 5.6%.
  • Retail customer transactions (purchases) for beverage alcohol were up 0.3% and the average dollar value of each transaction increased by 2.2% to $41.11. 
  • The total volume of beverage alcohol sold was up 0.6%.
  • Retail customer transactions for cannabis were up 13.8% and the average dollar value of each transaction decreased by 4.0% to $38.29. The average price per gram decreased 1.1% compared to the same time last year to $6.30.

Local Product Sales Highlights

Beverage Alcohol

  • Nova Scotia ready-to- drink sales led the growth in local product sales with a 19.1% increase in sales to $7.6 million. 
    • Local cooler sales were up 26.4% to $5.9 million
    • Local cider sales were down 0.8% to $1.7 million.
  • Nova Scotia craft beer experienced strong growth of 6.5% to $7.1 million. 
  • Nova Scotia spirits saw a slight decline of 1.7% to $4.3 million.
  • Nova Scotia wine experienced a 3.2% decline in sales to $4.8 million. 
  • Nova Scotia cannabis sales again led the growth in local products with a 29.9% increase in sales to $8.5 million. 
  • Nova Scotia cannabis accounts for 31.0% of all cannabis sales, the largest we have seen to date.


  • Nova Scotia cannabis sales again led the growth in local products with a 29.9% increase in sales to $8.5 million. 
  • Nova Scotia cannabis accounts for 31.0% of all cannabis sales, the largest we have seen to date.







Sales Volume (Hectolitres)




$ 59,794,900

$ 57,577,770
















Total Sales by Category

$ 228,073,481

$ 215,039,920

Gross Profit

$ 115,917,762

$ 108,134,679

Store Operating Expenses



Gross Operating Income

$ 92,241,067

$ 86,289,459

Other Corporate Expenses & Other Earnings



Income from Operations

$ 78,867,977

$ 73,952,407


Sales by Channel

Sales Change
NSLC Stores $192.6 M $6.4 M (3.4%)
Licensees (bars/restaurants/pubs) $13.4M $4.3 M (46.4%)
Agency Stores (independently owned) $15.9M $0.5 M (3.1%)
Private Wine and Specialty Stores $5.4M $1.9 M (52.1%)
Other Wholesale $0.2M $0.01 M (46.4%)
 Online  $0.5M  $0.001 M (0.6%) 

Operating Expense Ratio

The NSLC’s operating expense ratio for the fiscal quarter, including amortization and depreciation, was 16.2% compared to 15.9% reported the prior year. 

Board Expenses

The NSLC released the Board of Directors’ expenses for the quarter. These expenses amounted to $4.06 per Director, per day. An electronic version of these expenses expenses is available to download

About the NSLC

The NSLC manages the safe and responsible sale of beverage alcohol and cannabis in Nova Scotia, returning 100% of its profits to government to help fund key public services. The NSLC aspires to be a trusted retailer, partner, employer, and responsible industry steward that is helping to create a stronger Nova Scotia. For more information about the NSLC, please visit our website at myNSLC.com.

For more information please contact:
Beverley Ware
Media Relations Manager
O: (902) 450-5920
M: (902) 456-5040

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