LCBO records best year ever, $3.9 billion in sales, dividend of more than $1.2 billion in 2006-07



    TORONTO, June 5 /CNW/ - The LCBO generated a record $3.895 billion in net
sales, $1.296 billion in net income and delivered an all-time high
$1.275 billion dividend, not including taxes, to the Ontario government in
fiscal 2006-07.
    Net sales increased 6.4 per cent ($235 million), while net income rose
7.6 per cent ($92 million) and the dividend increased 6.3 per cent
($75 million) compared to fiscal 2005-06. All sales numbers have yet to be
audited.
    Fiscal 2006-07 is the 13th straight year the LCBO has increased its
dividend to the province and the fourth consecutive year the dividend has
topped $1 billion. Revenue from the LCBO helps pay for health care, education
and other important government programs and services.
    In 2006-07, the LCBO also increased its efforts to encourage responsible
consumption. It launched its first-ever contest to promote safe and sober
driving and responsible hosting and continued its high-profile TV advertising
to discourage drinking and driving. LCBO staff also challenged a record
1.8 million people who appeared underage or intoxicated, almost six per cent
more than the previous year. Almost 123,000 were refused service, a 10 per
cent increase, 82 per cent for age-related reasons.
    As part of its ongoing environmental commitment, in February 2007 LCBO
helped launch Ontario's Bag it back Deposit Return Program for beverage
alcohol containers which is expected to increase recycling rates and help
divert significantly more glass and other beverage alcohol containers from
landfill. To help reduce container waste, LCBO has introduced more than 170
new products in environmentally friendly packaging for consumers. Annual sales
of these alternative containers now exceed $80 million. In addition, through
its Natural Heritage Fund, LCBO, with the help of its suppliers, has raised
almost $2 million for projects to restore and rehabilitate Ontario wildlife
habitat.
    "Strong summer sales and record holiday sales of more than $500 million
helped boost LCBO performance in fiscal 2006-07," explained LCBO President and
CEO Bob Peter. "Demographics and appealing LCBO products and promotional
activities contributed to sales. Baby Boomers, with more disposal income than
ever before, are trying new products, trading up to premium products and
entertaining more."
    All LCBO product categories and VINTAGES, the fine wines and premium
spirits business unit, saw sales increases. VINTAGES sales increased by 18.7 
per cent to $260 million while wines topped all product categories with 7.5 
per cent sales growth. The wines category (not including VINTAGES) also topped
the $1 billion mark ($1.049 billion) in annual sales for the first time, with
sales 44 per cent higher than they were five years ago.
    Ontario wines were particularly strong in fiscal 2006-07, increasing 7.9 
per cent, with the successful fall 2006 Buy to Fly promotion helping to build
sales momentum for Ontario wines going into the critical holiday sales period.
Numerous in-store promotional initiatives, including LCBO staff dedicated to
promoting Ontario wines, also helped to increase Ontario wine sales at LCBO
stores.
    Sales of all wines priced $10-$12 grew 11.6 per cent while wines priced
$12-$15 rose by 9.6 per cent. Wines under $10 increased by three per cent, and
accounted for more than 33 per cent of LCBO wine sales. Sales of red wines
increased by 11.6 per cent while white wines grew by eight per cent. Red wines
account for 55 per cent of all LCBO wines while whites represent 33 per cent.
The remaining 12 per cent includes rose, sparkling and fortified wines (mostly
ports and sherries).
    Spirits, the LCBO's highest margin products, rose 5.6 per cent, in part
due to successful promotions and LCBO staff trained to help demystify spirits.
Vodka led all major spirit categories in growth, up 9.7 per cent to
$334.9 million from $305.2 million. Premium spirits sales grew more than three
times faster than standard brands.
    The beer, cooler and ready-to-drink cocktail category was up 4.7 per
cent. Ontario craft beer sales, helped by LCBO in-store promotional
initiatives and dedicated staff to promote these products, rose by 27.6 per
cent. Sales of imported beers at the LCBO increased by 8.2 per cent.
    LCBO gift card sales increased by 36 per cent in fiscal 2006-07 and LCBO
sales to bars and restaurants were up by 9.3 per cent.
    LCBO expects sales to top $4 billion in fiscal 2007-08 and the dividend
to rise to $1.325 billion, an increase of $50 million.





For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Layton, LCBO Media
Relations Co-ordinator, Tel: (416) 864-6772, Cell: (416) 587-3729, Fax: (416)
864-6850, e-mail: chris.layton@lcbo.com


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