The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation says their total year-end sales for the 2018-2019 fiscal year reached $662.1 million, or up 5.8 per cent from the previous year.
Compared to the previous fiscal year the Crown Corporation’s net income was $237 million, down $1.2 million, while total sales were up by $36.4 million to $662.1 million, according to an NSLC press release.
“Our net income was down by 0.5 per cent and that’s due to expenses that were incurred relating to implementing cannabis,” said Beverly Ware, spokesperson for NSLC.
Recreational cannabis sales totaled $33.2 million during the first five and a half months of legalization.
But Ware said there were “some factors” affecting the sales of recreational cannabis.
“The fact that legalization was delayed from initial expectations. And also one of the key factors was the supply with challenges and that’s something that’s being experienced across Canada,” Ware said.
NSLC says the growth in local beverage alcohol product categories continues to be strong.
Nova Scotia ready-to-drink sales, which are mostly ciders, were up 80.9 per cent to $7.8 million while craft beer sales were up 27.3 per cent to $16.7 million.
On the other hand, commercial wine sales, produced in Nova Scotia with imported grapes, were down 2.6% to $22.7 million.
Ware said the increase of ready-to-drink sales was a “big jump.”
“It seems that one of the factors could be the fact that customers who are wine drinkers are turning to ready-to-drink products. That was a trend that we started to see last year,” she said.
“Another factor is that these products, they’re made by Nova Scotia producers, so there seems to be a strong element of customers supporting local products.”
The NSLC now lists products from 29 local breweries, up from six breweries just five years ago.
“Much of that is thanks to the Nova Scotia and the maritime producers because they’ve been able to provide us with a pretty consistent supply of quality product and they’re proving to be quite popular with our customers,” she said.