Year End Financial Performance

Halifax, June 13, 2023 – The NSLC released its year-end financial results today (April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023), reporting a 6.0% increase in earnings to $284.7 million. Total sales for the year were $860.7 million, with beverage alcohol sales of $749.5 million and cannabis sales of $111.1 million. 

“I’m very proud of our team for continuing to deliver on our mandate while maintaining high customer service standards and contributing to our local communities,” said Greg Hughes, President & CEO. “Our 92% customer satisfaction rate tells us our customers are pleased with the shopping experience we provide,” Hughes said.  

Beverage alcohol sales increased by 4.3% with a 0.3% decrease in the total volume sold, and cannabis sales increased by 9.3%. Local beverage alcohol continues to perform well with a 7.8% increase to $91.2M. Beverage alcohol transactions for the year increased by 1.1% and the average basket increased by 0.7%. Cannabis transactions increased by 12.7% with the average basket size decreasing by 3.1% to $38.40, partly reflective of a 2.8% reduction in the average price per gram of $6.19.

The NSLC’s commitment to combatting illicit cannabis sales continued with the introduction of 11 additional cannabis locations this year bringing the total to 48 stores. Currently, 77% of Nova Scotians live within 10 kilometres of a safe supply of cannabis. 

“We continue to look for ways to compete with the illicit cannabis market and offer Nova Scotians an accessible and safe supply of cannabis,” Hughes said. “This includes finding ways to partner with local cannabis producers and help them bring their products to market.” 

Sales across all NSLC channels (Licensees, Agency Stores and Private Wine & Specialty stores) were favourable. The most notable is a 52.4% increase in sales to licensees (bars, pubs and restaurants) driven by good weather, increased tourism and the desire to enjoy social occasions out of home. Sales to Private Wine and Specialty Stores increased by 5.4% and sales to Agency Stores increased by 1.9%. 

The NSLC continues to invest in the retail network across the Province, investing $10.8M this year with two new stores, 11 new cannabis locations and seven store renovations. An additional $5.4M was invested in key initiatives, which included upgrading point-of-sale hardware and other IT systems to support retail operations. 

The NSLC has a long history of giving back to our communities by making meaningful social and economic contributions. Through our community investment program, and together with our teams, partners, and customers, we invested $1.27 million in more than 100 charities and causes across the province. 

“It’s incredible how our team, customers and business partners came together to support our communities through various fundraising and community efforts throughout the year,” Hughes said. “I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished together while executing on our strategic priorities.”

Business Highlights

The retail team continues to be vigilant with responsible sales, challenging more than 2.2M customers for identification and refusing more than 19,000 sales.
WeID Mystery Shop scores at retail were 90% for the year, confirming our customers who appear to be under 30 years of age are challenged for identification.
Added 11 cannabis stores to the network:
o Meteghan, Spryfield, Windsor, Springhill, New Germany, Guysborough, Eskasoni, North Sydney, Inverness, Timberlea, and Oxford.
Added two new stores in Eskasoni and Timberlea and completed seven store renovations.

Community Investment Highlights

Donated more than $175,000 to Feed Nova Scotia, which is equivalent to 263,849 meals, with the help of our customers and supplier partners.
Donated more than $500,000 to the IWK Foundation supporting the critical care of women and children with the help of our customers and supplier partners.
Partnered with MADD Canada to support their school assembly program to create awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving reaching 8,126 students.
Together with our partners, and the generous support of Nova Scotia Government Employee Union Local 470, contributed more than $45,000 to the Make A Wish Heroes Challenge.
285 NSLC employees volunteered more than 31,000 hours supporting 34 non-profit organizations and causes important to them.
For the Good of our Community Fund, with the support of our supplier partners, awarded $140,000 to 13 Nova Scotia based organizations who support community wellbeing, the environment and responsibility stewardship.
Donated $310,365 to support three community partners – MADD Canada, Feed Nova Scotia and Habitat for Humanity – as part of our holiday campaign.
In partnership with Halifax Transit, provided free rides to more than 32,000 riders during the busy holiday season.

Financial Highlights

(compared to the same period last year):

Earnings for the year totaled $284.7 million; an increase of $16.0 million or 6.0%.
Total sales were $860.7 million; an increase of $40.2 million or 4.9%.
Cannabis sales were $111.1 million; an increase of 9.3%. 
Beverage alcohol sales were $749.5 million; an increase of 4.3%.
Retail customer transactions for beverage alcohol increased by 1.1%, and the average dollar value of each transaction increased by 0.7% to $38.62. 
The total volume of beverage alcohol sold decreased by 0.3%.
Retail customer transactions for cannabis increased by 12.7%, and the average dollar value of each transaction decreased by 3.1% to $38.40.

Local Product Sales Highlights

Beverage Alcohol

Nova Scotia beer sales increased by 8.3% to $28.6 million. 
Nova Scotia wine sales increased by 7.8% to $16.8 million.
Nova Scotia spirit sales increased by 2.3% to $12.9 million. 
Nova Scotia Ready to Drink increased by 9.8% to $33.0 million. 


Nova Scotia cannabis increased by 41.8% to $33.5 million.
Nova Scotia cannabis accounts for 30.2% of all cannabis sales.




Sales Volume (Hectolitres)












Ready to Drink









Total Sales by Category



Gross Profit



Operating Expenses



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Other Corporate Expenses & Other Earnings



Income from Operations




Sales by Channel

Sales Change
NSLC Stores $722.8 M $20.7 M (2.9%)
Licensees (bars/restaurants/pubs) $51.6 M $17.7M (52.4%)
Agency Stores (independently owned) $64.1 M $1.2 M (1.9%)
Private Wine and Specialty Stores $19.6 M $1.0 M (5.4%)
Other Wholesale $0.8 M $0.01 M (2.0%)
Online $1.8M $0.4 M (-17.6%)

Operating Expense Ratio

The NSLC’s operating expense ratio for the fiscal year, including amortization and depreciation, was 16.7% compared to 16.9% reported the prior year. 

Board Expenses

The NSLC Board of Directors’ expenses for the fourth quarter amounted to $2.43 per Director, per day. An electronic version of these expenses is available at 

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

For more information please contact:
Allison Himmelman
O: (902) 450-7563
M: (902) 221-5246



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