The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) released its first-quarter financial results today, Aug. 25, for April 1 to June 28, 2020.
It was an unprecedented quarter with a 5.3 per cent increase in sales to $184.2 million with $166.8 million in beverage alcohol sales and $17.3 million in cannabis sales. This growth was driven by customers purchasing from NSLC and agency stores and staying home due to the closure of bars, pubs and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nova Scotia ready-to-drink products, primarily vodka coolers, continued to lead the growth of local product categories with sales increasing by 115.7 per cent to $7.2 million. Nova Scotia craft beer sales grew by 0.1 per cent to $4.8 million while spirit sales grew by 15.4 per cent to $2.3 million compared to the same quarter for the previous fiscal year. Nova Scotia wine sales declined by 7.6 per cent to $2.6 million and Nova Scotia cannabis sales declined 12.7 per cent to $2.6 million, accounting for 15.1 per cent of all cannabis sales this quarter.
While there was a 24.4 per cent decline in the number of transactions, the average dollar value of each transaction increased 46.4 per cent as customers purchased larger package sizes in order to make fewer trips to NSLC stores.
There was a 6.8 per cent increase in earnings this quarter to $64.1 million compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year.