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NSLC reports solid second-quarter revenue growth

Renowned Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac overnighted in the parking lot of the Sydney River NSLC store to ensure he was the first person on the island to purchase legal cannabis as shown in this file photo from Oct. 17, 2019. Sharon Montgomery - Cape Breton Post
Prominent fiddler Ashley MacIsaac was the first person on Cape Breton Island to purchase cannabis when it became legal in October 2018. The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. said on Tuesday that its earnings were up 5.2 per cent in the second quarter, aided by cannabis sales. - Sharon Montgomery-Dupe
HALIFAX, N.S. —

Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. reported its earnings grew 5.2 per cent in the second quarter of the 2019-20 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 29.

The provincial Crown corporation says its revenue figures were affected by the addition of cannabis sales, which started in the third quarter last fiscal year.

Total sales for the second quarter were $203.7 million, an increase of 11.8 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, "primarily due to cannabis," according to a NSLC news release Tuesday.

“I am very pleased with our business and financial performance this quarter,” Greg Hughes, president and CEO of the liquor corporation stated in the release.  “Cannabis was clearly the main driver of our overall sales growth; however, beverage alcohol also had an impact, reporting a 1.8 per cent increase.”

Earnings totalled $73.8 million, which was an increase of $3.7 million over the second quarter of fiscal 2018-19, Total sales were $203.7 million, which was an increase of $21.5 million or 11.8 per cent, primarily due to cannabis the liquor agency stated.

Cannabis generated a total of $18.2 million in sales for the corporation, and beverage alcohol sales were $185.5 million, an increase of 1.8 per cent.

The number of customer purchases of beverage alcohol was up 0.2 per cent, and the average dollar value of each transaction grew by 1.8 per cent to $31.83, according to the NSLC. However, the total volume of beverage alcohol sold was down 0.9 per cent, which indicated the government's liqour arm was benefitting from higher prices.

The number of cannabis purchases at liquour outlets totalled 538,752, NSLC stated in its news release. The average dollar value of of the cannabis purchase was $33.76.

The NSLC emphasized that it continued to focus on its "corporate social responsibility" campaign in the second quarter. It initiated partnerships with Feed Nova Scotia and Habitat for Humanity and supported the Children’s Wish Foundation’s Heroes Challenge, raising funds to support two children’s wishes.

Liquor store employees asked for proper identification more than 650,000 times from those customers who appeared to have been under the age of 30, the corporation said in its news release.
 

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