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Spirits and beer sales dropped, while wine sales increased, NB Liquor reports.

NB Liquor profits are down by $1 million for the first quarter of the fiscal year, compared to the first quarter in 2011, according to unaudited results released Friday.

Meanwhile, total sales have dropped by almost $5 million for the same period to $99.2 million.

Still, president and chief executive officer Daniel Allain says the numbers are in line with expectations.

He says beer sales and store visits were expected to drop because of a deep discount on beer last year that saw high volumes of sales for 2011, totalling about $4.5 million.

Key product sales trends:

  • Wine sales grew 1.4 per cent, up $200,000.
  • Spirit sales declined 1.9 per cent, down $400,000.
  • Other beverages declined 2.3 per cent, down $100,000.
  • Beer sales declined 7.4 per cent, down $4.4 million.

Spirits sales are also down, compared to the same period last year, but wine sales are up, the Crown corporation reports.

A reduction of $200,000 in operating expenses from the previous year helped offset the effect of the revenue shortfall, said Allain.

"When you adjust for the impact of the beer sale, plus the additional selling day in the previous year's quarter, we are actually ahead of the last year's net earnings pace," Christopher Evans, vice-president and chief financial officer of NB Liquor, stated in a news release.

NB Liquor offers more than 1,878 products, including wines, beers, spirits and coolers.