Nfld. & Labrador

NLC boosts price of booze

The Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation raised its prices earlier this week — the cost of beer, wine and spirits have all gone up.
NLC President Steve Winter says he's trying to run the corporation like a business. (CBC )

The Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation raised its prices earlier this week  the cost of beer, wine and spirits have all gone up. 

"If you take a bottle of 750-ml spirits such as Lambs, it's gone up 50 cents," said President Steve Winter.

"A 750-ml bottle of wine has gone up 30 cents and a dozen beer has gone up 50 cents as well," he said. 

Winter told CBC News that an increase typically occurs once a year and he estimated there have been eight or nine price hikes in the last decade. 

According to Winter, a number of factors contributed to the decision, including currency exchange rates because the NLC imports products from all over the globe. 

It came from Danny Williams when he hired me in 2004 — he said run it like a business, so that's what I'm trying to do.- Steve Winter, NLC President 

In 2008, the NLC transferred $188-million in profits to the provincial government and last year the corporation transferred $152-million.

Its projected profit for 2015 is $154-million.

Despite a steady increase in earnings, Winter said customers shouldn't expect to see liquor prices go anywhere but up. 

"We're selling more product, to start with — that's one of the reasons profits are going up," he said.

"We're also keeping our costs in line, and that gives us more margin to work with. But call a spade a spade, you know, my job is to make money for the government," said Winter.

Winter said the provincial government didn't have a hand in suggesting the price hike. According to Winter, the province hasn't given him direction in more than 10 years. 

"It came from Danny Williams when he hired me in 2004 — he said run it like a business, so that's what I'm trying to do."

Winter said that liquor prices in the province are very competitive when compared to the rest of the country.

Based on the latest rise, Winter estimates the NLC will bring in an additional three to three-and-a-half million dollars. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.