A spike in sales for a financial quarter leads to another – and another and another– for the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission.

 

The NSLC announced its first quarter results (April 1 to June 28) yesterday and it again shows people in this province love to buy booze. The corporation posted a 3.4 per cent increase in gross sales -- compared with the same three-month period in 2008 -- along with a 5.2 per cent increase in retail sales and a 1.6 per cent increase in net profit.

 

But while sales and profits are up, NSLC spokesman Rick Perkins called yesterday's figures “modest growth” for the government-run commission.

 

“It’s substantially less than the last few years when we’ve been averaging four or five per cent (increases),” he said.

“Compared to retail, they’re strong results. Compared to our historic (numbers), it’s more modest growth.”

For the calendar year 2008, the NSLC saw gross sales jump 5.5 per cent and net income seven per cent. Gross sales in the first quarter this year reached $140.1-million while profits rose to $52.7-million.

Specifically, the biggest jump in gross sales came from ready-to-drink products at 9.3 per cent. Wine rose 5.3 per cent, beer 3.5 per cent and spirits 1.3 per cent.

When sales are measured by product volume, there is a slight increase at 0.7 per cent, with ready-to-drink products up 10.2 per cent and wine 4.6 per cent. Beer sales were basically flat while spirits dropped one per cent.

There was an 8.5 per cent decline in liquor sales to bars and restaurants, but sales to agency stores rose 5.5 per cent.