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The SAQ announces net earnings of $425.5 million for the third quarter of its 2018-2019 fiscal year

Montreal, April 12, 2019 – For the third quarter of its 2018-2019 fiscal year, which ended on January 5, 2019, the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) had net earnings of $425.5 million, an increase of 3.1% from the corresponding period of the preceding fiscal year. The sum is remitted in its entirety to the Quebec government to the benefit of all Quebecers.

Sales up

  • Dollar sales in all sales and distribution networks totalled $1.159 billion, an increase of $32.5 million or 2.9%.
  • At 69.6 million litres, volume sales fell a slight 0.2 million litres or 0.3% from the third quarter of fiscal 2017-2018.
  • The store and specialized centre network reported dollar sales of $1.041 billion, up $29 million or 2.9%.
  • The corresponding volume sales totalled 55.6 million litres, a 0.9% decrease from 56.1 million litres for the same quarter of the preceding fiscal year.

  • Dollar sales in the wholesale grocer network rose $3.6 million or 3.1% to $118.6 million.
  • Volume sales in the network grew 2.2%, ending the quarter at 14 million litres.

Net expenses down

  • The ratio of net expenses to sales was 14%, compared with 14.1% in the third quarter of fiscal 2017-2018.
  • Net expenses for fiscal 2018-2019 to date totalled $393.7 million, a $3 million decrease from the $396.3 million for same period of the preceding fiscal year. The ratio of expenses to sales was 14.8% versus 15.4% in fiscal 2017-2018.

These results demonstrate the success of the SAQ’s sustained approach to improving the organization’s efficiency while continuing to provide high-quality customer service.

Highlights of the quarter

Renewal of the SEMB collective agreement

The SAQ is pleased that the agreement in principle reached with the Syndicat des employés de magasins et de bureaux (SEMB), the store and office employees’ union, was approved by 93% of votes at meetings held in recent weeks. In effect for six years (2017 to 2023), the new collective agreement will allow the SAQ to provide good working conditions for its employees while also improving performance and efficiency.

Quebec gins see strong growth

Since the beginning of the year, the Quebec gin category has seen its volume sales grow 21%. It has thus become an emerging Quebec industry, much like cider, wine and beer before it. Other new local products will be making their way to SAQ stores in the coming months, as 40 new production permits have been granted by the Régie des alcools des courses et des jeux (RACJ).

Increasingly committed to eco-responsibility

The SAQ is very proud that its head office, located at 7500 Tellier Street, has obtained

BOMA BEST[1] 3.0 sustainable building certification. The building officially meets all the energy and environmental performance requirements of the BOMA BEST Sustainable Building Program.

Our busiest day

In 2018, the day with the highest sales (all types of customer) was Thursday, December 20, when sales reached $33.4M.

New flagship store

The SAQ continues its rise in Léger’s Wow index, which measures the customer experience of more than 200 businesses through a survey of 15,000 Quebecers. In the Retailer Offering the Best In-Store Experience category, the SAQ rose to second place from fifth in 2017, ninth in 2016 and 14th in 2015. What’s more, the SAQ came first in the Specialized Boutique category. This achievement is not unrelated to the SAQ’s strategy to provide an unmatched customer experience.

The Quarterly Report Q3 2018-2019 is now available (in French only) on

[1]. BOMA BEST (Building Environmental Standards) is a national green building certification program launched in 2005 to establish industry-wide standards, provide a kit of evaluation and educational tools and ensure independent verification of information for measuring the energy and environmental performance of existing buildings’ energy and environmental performance.