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Financial results for the third quarter of 2010-2011

Montreal, March 18, 2011 – In the third quarter of its 2010–2011 fiscal year, which ended on January 1, 2011, the SAQ had consolidated net sales of $965.7 million, an increase of $47 million or 5.1% from the preceding quarter. This change is once again attributable to the excellent performance of outlet and specialized centre network. The SAQ also reported consolidated net earnings of $359.3 million for the same quarter, up $26 million or 7.8% from the corresponding quarter in fiscal 2009–2010.


This growth is typical of the current fiscal year, in which consolidated net earnings reached $771.3 million after 40 weeks of operation, a $41.8 million or 5.7% increase from the preceding fiscal year. Also in the first three quarters of fiscal 2010–2011, consolidated net sales for all the SAQ’s sales and distribution networks totalled $2.147 billion, compared with $2.055 billion in 2009–2011, a 4.5% rise.


Outstanding performance by the sales network
Net sales through the outlet and specialized centre network grew 5.3% to $855.9 million, compared with $812.8 million in 2009–2010. The corresponding volume sales totalled 49 million litres, as opposed to 47 million litres in the preceding fiscal year, a 4.3% increase. For their part, net sales in the wholesale grocer network climbed $3.9 million to $109.8 million, while volume sales rose slightly to 13.9 million litres.


With respect to volume sales by product category, wines increased 5.2% or 2.6 million litres last quarter to total 52.4 million litres. Spirits, which are sold exclusively through the outlet and specialized centre network, saw growth on the order of 4.1%, reaching 7.7 million litres. Lastly, sales of ready-to-drinks (coolers) fell a relatively slight 0.1 million litres to 1.7 million litres, while sales of beers, ciders and related products held steady at 1.1 million litres.


Operating expenses under control
Consolidated net operating expenses totalled $151.8 million in the third quarter. At 15.7% for the quarter just ended, compared with 16.2% in 2009–2010, consolidated net operating expenses expressed as a percentage of consolidated net sales showed a clear improvement.