FREDERICTON (GNB) – NB Liquor released today its audited financial results for the fiscal year ended April 1.

Total sales for the year were $428.7 million, up $13.6 million (3.3 per cent) from the previous year, which ended March 26, 2017. Net earnings remained steady at $168.4 million.

“We have recorded the highest total sales in NB Liquor’s history. However, with several much-needed strategic investments in our business to prepare us for the future, our net earnings are flat,” said Brian Harriman, president and CEO of NB Liquor. “These strategic investments will position NB Liquor for future success as we continue to focus on growing the business while also increasing our efforts to support social responsibility. The increased investments in social responsibility include the expansion of our safe-ride programs into more communities, an increased number of water bar activations and a deepening of our partnership with MADD Canada. I am also very proud of our efforts on checking IDs, as we checked almost one million IDs last fiscal, which is best in class in Canada as a percentage of total transactions.”

NB Liquor also released its unaudited results for the first quarter ended June 24.

Total sales for the quarter were $96.6 million, 1.6 per cent higher than the quarter ended June 25, 2017.

Key product sales trends compared to last year’s first quarter were:

  • wine sales increased 1.5 per cent, up $300,000
  • spirit sales increased 3.7 per cent, up $800,000
  • beer sales increased 0.3 per cent, up $200,000
  • sales of ciders and coolers increased 4.4 per cent, up $300,000

“NB Liquor has experienced a growth in sales in the first quarter,” said Harriman. “It is great to see all of our categories performing well, with spirits seeing the highest increase due to a combination of some successful promotions and a newly invigorated cocktail culture that is starting to grow within the province. To date, we have grown our business by $1.5 million in the first quarter versus last year’s sales.

NB Liquor is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for the purchase, importation, distribution and retail activity for all alcoholic beverages in the province. It serves the public and licensees through 41 corporate retail outlets, 87 private agency store outlets and 44 grocery stores selling wine. Its product portfolio comprises 2,267 products, including wines, spirits, beers and other products, such as cider and ready-to-drink products.

Over the course of the last 43 years, NB Liquor has built a network of stores in 33 communities around the province. These communities benefit from the employment of about 620 New Brunswickers at the stores.

The corporation also released the expenses of its board of directors and of the president and chief executive officer for the first quarter, which are available online.