Montreal, June 13, 2014 – For the second year in a row, the SAQ has ended its fiscal year with net earnings in excess of $1 billion, $1.003 billion in this year’s case. Sales at the government corporation rose 1% compared with fiscal 2012–2013, ending the year at $2.935 billion. Expressed as a percentage of sales, net earnings were 34.2%, versus 35.4% for the preceding fiscal year. Thus, at year-end, the SAQ transferred a dividend of $1.003 billion to the Quebec government, compared with $1.030 billion in fiscal 2012–2013. Despite the slight decrease in the dividend, the total federal and provincial government revenues from the SAQ’s business activities – in the form of dividends, consumption takes and federal duties – actually increased $11 million to $1.956 billion, $1.570 billion of which was remitted to the Quebec treasury.
Overview of the last five years
In the last five fiscal years, the average annual rate of sales growth in the store and specialized centre network was 4.1%, as opposed to 2.4% for the wholesale grocer network. As for volume sales, the average annual growth rate was 2.6% in the store and specialized centre network and 1.6% in the wholesale grocer network. These results have seen the dividend declared to the Quebec treasury increase nearly 16% since fiscal 2009–2010.
Results by sales network
In fiscal 2013–2014, the government corporation recorded sales of $2.622 billion in its store and specialized centre network, a $36.7 million or 1.4% increase. The corresponding volume sales went from 150.8 million litres to 150.4 million litres, a 0.3% decrease.
Sales in the wholesale grocer network fell $8.8 million or 2.7% from the preceding fiscal year to $313 million. For their part, volume sales dropped 1.4 million litres or 3.5% to end the year at 39 million litres.
The shifting of Easter holiday sales to the preceding fiscal year is one of the factors explaining these results.
Sales by category
In fiscal 2013–2014, wine sales in all the SAQ’s sales and distribution networks totalled $2.214 billion, an increase of $30.5 million or 1.4% compared with the preceding fiscal year. During the same period, volume sales fell 0.5% to 156.5 million litres, a decrease attributable to a decline in the volumes sold in the wholesale grocer network.
Wine sales in the store and specialized centre network alone posted an increase of $39.3 million or 2.1% compared with fiscal 2012–2013, while volume sales rose 0.6 million litres or 0.5%.
In the wholesale grocer network, wine sales totalled $313 million, a drop of $8.8 million or 2.7%. Volume sales followed a similar trend, decreasing 1.4 million litres or 3.5% to end the year at 39 million litres.
Spirits, which are sold only in the store and specialized centre network, experienced sales growth of $639 million, up $5.2 million or 0.8% from the preceding fiscal year. Volume sales for this category totalled 21.8 million litres, a rise of 0.9%.
IMPORTED AND MICROBREWERY BEERS, CIDERS AND COOLERS
Sales in the imported and microbrewery beers, ciders and coolers category declined 8.7% to $82.3 million. The corresponding volume sales were 11.1 million litres.
Net expenses totalled $551.5 million at fiscal year-end versus $522 million for the preceding year, a $29.5 million or 5.7% increase. The difference is attributable mainly to a ruling regarding the application of the Pay Equity Act that was favourable to the SAQ and was reached in fiscal 2012–2013. The increase in retail sector rents and building occupancy expenses also contributed to the rise in net expenses.
Expressed as a percentage of sales, net expenses amounted to 18.8% in fiscal 2013–2014, in keeping with a trend observed in the last five years, which has seen this operating ratio remain between 18% and 19%, a significant improvement over the mid-2000s.
On November 29, 2013, Quebec winemakers, the Quebec government and the SAQ publicly committed to working together to enable the local wine-growing industry to continue its development and intensify its production. In the coming year, the SAQ will maintain its commitment by implementing its action plan, which aims to increase the selection and visibility of Quebec certified wines in its store network. The Origine Québec branding has already been introduced in SAQ stores to help customers more easily find Quebec products. In fiscal 2013–2014, Quebec wines, including dessert and sparkling wines, continued to gain in popularity with consumers, as evidenced by the 7% increase in volume sales to 184,000 litres.
Click here to read the 2014 SAQ annual report (French only).
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Media Relations Officer
Société des alcools du Québec
514 254-6000, ext. 5385