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SAQ's net earnings rise 5.5% to reach $914.7 million

Montréal, June 7, 2011 – The SAQ ended its 2010–2011 fiscal year* with consolidated net earnings of $914.7 million, a $47.5 million or 5.5% increase from its preceding fiscal year. At the same time, the company closed its most recent year with consolidated net sales of more than $2.6 billion. Expressed as a percentage of consolidated net sales, consolidated net earnings rose to 34.4% in fiscal 2010–2011, compared with 34% in fiscal 2009–2010; this is the best operating ratio of the decade. At fiscal year-end, the SAQ paid a dividend of $914.7 million to the Quebec government, which is $60.8 million more than the amount specified in its 2010–2012 strategic plan. Lastly, government revenues from operations, in the form of dividends, duties and consumption taxes, exceeded $1.7 billion.


Well-performing sales networks
In fiscal 2010–2011, consolidated net sales from the SAQ’s entire sales and distribution network totalled $2.660 billion, a $111.2 million or 4.4% increase. The corresponding volume sales reached 180.5 million litres, up 3.7% from the 174 million litres recorded in the preceding fiscal year.


Specifically, the outlet and specialized centre network had net sales of $2.365 billion at fiscal year-end, an increase of $104.9 million or 4.6% from the preceding fiscal year. The corresponding volume sales grew 3.9%, from 137.4 million litres to 142.8 million litres.


For their part, net sales in the wholesale grocer network rose 2.2% from the preceding fiscal year to reach $295.3 million, while volume sales increased 3.0% to 37.7 million litres.


Wine: no falling off in Quebecers’ interest
Net sales of most product categories were up in fiscal 2010–2011. The wine category, with net sales of nearly $1.989 billion, achieved noteworthy growth of $83.4 million or 4.4% over the preceding fiscal year. This extremely diverse product category accounted for 75% of the overall increase in net sales in the year just ended. The category’s corresponding volume sales rose 4.2% to 148.3 million litres in fiscal 2010–2011.


Net sales of spirits, which are sold only through the outlet and specialized centre network, continued to rise, ending the year at $582.5 million, a $29.6 million or 5.4% increase from fiscal 2009–2010. This category’s volume sales grew 2.5% to reach 20.8 million litres.


Lastly, net sales for the imported and microbrewery beers, ciders and coolers category fell 2.0% in fiscal 2010–2011 to $89.9 million. However, the corresponding volume sales held steady at 11.4 million litres.


Constantly improving operating ratio
Consolidated net operating expenses totalled $502.6 million at fiscal year-end, compared with $483.7 million in the preceding fiscal year, an increase of $18.9 million or 3.9%.


Expressed as a percentage of consolidated net sales, net operating expenses were 18.9% in fiscal 2010–2011, compared with 19% in the preceding fiscal year. This result, the best ratio of the decade, is proof of the company’s constant efforts to optimize costs.


New avenues for better meeting customers’ requirements
The SAQ’s solid performance in fiscal 2010–2011 speaks volumes about its discipline and agile management as well as about its employees’ commitment to achieving the goals of its strategic plan.


In the coming fiscal year, the company will continue focusing on customer satisfaction. The SAQ plans to enrich its communication with its customers by making greater use of technology such as the Web, social media and mobile telephony, all while continuing to provide personalized advisory service in its retail outlets.


In addition, to maintain its position as one of the retail businesses most appreciated by Quebec consumers, the SAQ will continue investing in its personnel, to the benefit of its customers, who are increasingly enthusiastic about its products.


The SAQ’s 2011 annual report will be available in the coming days on


*March 28, 2010, to March 26, 2011, inclusive.