Nova Scotia

NSLC reports 1st quarter increase in sales

Nova Scotia's Crown liquor company is reporting a slight increase in profits in its first quarter.

Nova Scotia's Crown liquor company is reporting a slight increase in profits in its first quarter.

From April 1 to July 1, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. recorded sales of $150.6 million compared to $148.7 million for the same period last year, an increase of 1.3 per cent.

It says the first quarter's net income was $58.6 million, an increase of $1.4 million compared to the same period last year.

Rick Perkins, a spokesman for the NSLC, said wine sales showed the most growth, due in part to the introduction of local products.

"During the first quarter wine was very strong, increasing in sales by 3.2 per cent," he told CBC News on Wednesday.

"That's continued growth that we've seen in the last couple of years in the wine category as Nova Scotians embrace that particular product and in particular, embrace Nova Scotia wines."

Wholesale sales, such as those at bars, restaurants and stores, were $27.2 million, an increase of 1.4 per cent over last year.

But the total volume of alcohol sold in the first quarter is down 0.5 per cent from the same time last year.

Perkins said there are a few reasons why sales are up while volumes are down.

"Our customers are actually buying more expensive products so even though they're buying a little less, they may have bought a $15 bottle of wine instead of a $12 bottle of wine. So when they spend a little bit more money we can make more profit," he said.

"Secondly, a lot of the work that our buying team has done in introducing products is that they have a lower purchase price for us and therefore a higher profit margin when we sell them."

The corporation generates more than half a billion dollars of revenue a year and employs more than 1,500 people in the province.

now