Montreal, March 30, 2021 – The SAQ today announced the results for the third quarter of its 2020-2021 fiscal year, which ended January 2, 2021. Compared with the third quarter of the preceding fiscal year, sales rose 3.9% to end the quarter at $1.267 billion. For their part, volume sales totalled 74.9 million litres, a 3.3% increase. The SAQ reported net income of $458.6 million, remitted in its entirety to the Quebec government. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the disruption of restaurant and bar business, continues to drive a shift in sales from permit holders to the SAQ’s store, agency store and grocery networks.
Ratio of net expenses to sales
Store and specialized centre (permit holders, agency stores and other customers) network
Sales in this network totalled $1.118 billion versus $1.097 billion in the third quarter of the preceding fiscal year, a $21.2 million increase. Sales to consumers were up $128.7 million while those to permit holders fell $115.5 million.
Volume sales totalled 57.3 million litres, a 0.7% decrease compared with the same period last year.
Wholesale grocer network
Sales in the wholesale grocer network grew $26.6 million or 21.7% to $149.2 million. Volume sales increased 18.9% to 17.6 million litres.
Net expenses in the third quarter totalled $176.8 million, up $10.4 million from the $166.4 million recorded in the third quarter of the preceding fiscal year. Of this increase, additional costs directly attributable to the pandemic were estimated at $5.8 million; these include expenditures to protect employees’ and customers’ health and safety and the loss of hospitality sector income. Net expenses as a percentage of sales were 14% for the third quarter as opposed to 13.6% for the third quarter of fiscal 2019-2020.
Average shopping cart
Customers’ average in-store purchase totalled $78.42 during the quarter versus $54.25 for the same quarter last year. The increase is explained by a 22.4% drop in store traffic, with customers preferring to visit stores less often, as recommended by public health officials. The average sales price per litre in the store network increased to $21.70, compared with $20.90 for the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2019-2020.
Q3 2020-2021 report (french only)
Online sales on the rise
Online sales were 125.8% higher in the third quarter than in the corresponding quarter of the preceding fiscal year, totalling 3.6% of consumer sales. The number of transactions and of bottles sold more than doubled during the same period.
Contribution to Food Banks of Quebec
Between December 3 and 9, the SAQ held a new campaign for the Food Banks of Quebec (FBQ) network. A total of $883,271 was raised for the FBQ.