NSLC Announces 2017 Year End Results

Halifax, June 20, 2017 – The NSLC released its year-end results today (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017). Compared to last year:

  • Net income (earnings) totaled $239.2 million; down $2.0 million or 0.8%
  • Total sales were $611.8 million; an increase of $4.3 million or 0.7% 
  • Total volume of beverage alcohol sold was down 1.0%
  • Overall retail customer transactions (purchases) were down 0.1%, while the average dollar value of each transaction grew by 0.7% 

“We are pleased with these results as they are more than $5 million ahead of our net income target for the year. We continue to be diligent with expense controls and increase the service and value we offer our customers,” said Bret Mitchell, NSLC President & CEO. “We continue to focus on providing exceptional customer service, promoting responsible enjoyment and investing in local industry.”

Business Highlights

Category Revenue Volume (Hectolitres sold by NSLC) Per Cent of Total Sales
Wine 1.8% to $138.0M 0.2% 22.6%
Spirits 0.1% to $163.1M 0.6% 26.7%
Beer 1.0% to $276.0M 2.3% 45.1%
Ready-To-Drink 14.3% to $34.5M 14.0% 5.6%

Sales by Channel

Channel Sales Change
NSLC Retail Stores $500.7M $3.0M (0.6%)
Licensees (bars/restaurants/pubs) $53.7M $0.1M (0.2%)
Agency Stores (independently owned) $46.0M $1.6M (3.5%)
Private Wine and Specialty Stores $10.5M $0.3M (3.1%)
Other Wholesale $0.7M $0.2M (25.3%)


Operating Expense Ratio

The NSLC’s operating expense ratio for the year – including amortization and depreciation – was 16.0% compared to 15.9% reported the prior year.


Board Expenses

The NSLC released the Board of Directors’ expenses for the fourth quarter. These expenses amounted to $3.62 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, outpacing expectations driven by the expansion of new businesses, quality products and innovation in the categories.

  • Nova Scotia wine sales (made with locally grown grapes) grew by 3.9% to $9.9 million.
  • Nova Scotia craft beer sales grew by 34.2% to $10.2 million. The NSLC now lists products from 18 local breweries, up from three breweries just four years ago. One of every four beer listings on NSLC shelves is a local craft beer.
  • Nova Scotia spirit sales grew by 130.8% to $3.5 million. This is steady growth over the last couple of years with products like Blue Lobster Vodka from Nova Scotia Distilling at the top of the list. Fortress Amber Rum from Authentic Sea Coast Distilling was also a top performer.
  • Nova Scotia commercial wine sales (produced in Nova Scotia with imported grapes) were up 3.6% to $22.5 million.
  • Nova Scotia commercial beer sales were stable at $160.9 million.
  • Nova Scotia ready-to-drink products, which are largely ciders, had a strong year with sales increasing by 83.7% to $2.9 million. This strong growth was driven by cider, especially products like No Boats on Sunday produced by Peller Estates.


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 at myNSLC.com.


For more information please contact:
Beverley Ware
Communications Advisor
O: (902) 450-5920
M: (902) 456-5040


Financial Highlights

For the quarter ended March 31, 2017 

Q4 2016/2017 2015/2016
Sales Volume (Hectolitres) 152,590 165,533
Spirits $33,740,825 $36,812,468
Wine 27,036,799 29,242,499
Beer 54,074,315 58,048,071
Ready-To-Drink 5,277,110 5,071,693
Non-Liquor 17,355 19,346
Total Sales by Category $120,146,405 $129,194,076
Gross Profit $66,353,487 $72,433,829
Store Operating Expenses (14,498,516) (15,962,980)
Gross Operating income $51,854,971 $56,470,849
Other Corporate Expenses & Other earnings (9,988,679) (8,479,968)
Income from Operations $41,866,293 $47,990,881

For the 12 months ended March 31, 2017

YTD Q4 2016/2017 2015/2016
Sales Volume (Hectolitres) 781,122 788,756
Spirits $163,146,327 $162,937,174
Wine 134,044,248 135,581,539
Beer  276,004,886 278,746,585
Ready-To-Drink  34,519,731 30,198,868
Non-Liquor 129,851 120,421
Total Sales by Category $611,845,042 $607,584,588
Gross Profit $336,935,361 $337,973,579
Store Operating Expenses (61,334,942) (61,231,677)
Gross Operating income $275,600,419 $276,741,902
Other Corporate Expenses & Other earnings (36,379,219) (35,484,804)
Income from Operations $239,221,200 $241,257,098