MONTREAL, June 15, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The SAQ ended its 2011-2012 fiscal year with net earnings of $999.7 million, an increase of $89.2 million or 9.8% from its preceding fiscal year. At the same time, the company ended its most recent fiscal year with sales of more than $2.8 billion. Expressed as a percentage of sales, net earnings rose to 35.2%, compared with 34.3% in fiscal 2010-2011. At fiscal year-end, the SAQ transferred a dividend of $999.7 million to the Quebec government, $97.7 million more than the amount specified for this reference year in its 2010-2012 strategic plan. In all, government revenues from the SAQ's business activities, in the form of dividends, duties and consumption taxes, reached an all-time high of $1.9 billion.
Decrease in the operating ratio
Net expenses totalled $509.6 at fiscal year-end as opposed to $506.6 million for the preceding fiscal year, a $3 million or 0.6% increase.
Expressed as a percentage of sales, net expenses amounted to 18% in fiscal 2011-2012, compared with 19% for the preceding fiscal year. This improvement is directly related to the optimization efforts made by SAQ employees.
Well-performing sales networks
For fiscal 2011-2012, sales from the SAQ's entire sales and distribution network totalled $2.837 billion, an increase $179.3 million or 6.7%. The corresponding volume sales grew 8.4 million litres to reach 188.9 million litres.
Specifically, the outlet and specialized centre network had sales of $2.524 billion at fiscal year-end, a $161.9 million or 6.9% increase from the preceding fiscal year. The corresponding volume sales grew 4.4%, from 142.8 million litres to 149.1 million litres.
For their part, sales in the wholesale grocer network were up 5.9% from the preceding fiscal year to reach $312.7 million, while volume sales increased 5.6% to 39.8 million litres.
Wine accounts for 77% of the overall increase in sales
Sales of all product categories rose in fiscal 2011-2012. The wine category, with sales of nearly $2.125 billion, achieved noteworthy growth of $137.7 million or 6.9% from the preceding fiscal year. This product category, which is very popular with Quebecers, accounted for 77% of the overall increase in sales in the year just ended. The category's corresponding volume sales grew by 6.9 million litres to 155.2 million litres in fiscal 2011-2012.
Sales of spirits, which are sold only through the outlet and specialized centre network, also continued to rise, ending the year at $621.8 million, a $40 million increase from fiscal 2010-2011. The category's volume sales totalled 21.8 million litres, an increase of 1 million litres from the preceding fiscal year.
Lastly, sales for the imported and microbrewery beers, ciders and coolers category experienced a small $1.6 million uptick in growth to $90.6 million. The corresponding volume sales totalled 11.9 million litres, compared with 11.4 million litres for the preceding fiscal year.
The coming fiscal year
The SAQ's solid performance in fiscal 2011-2012 is the result of the mobilization and commitment of all its employees, who redoubled their efforts to satisfy customers.
The SAQ is determined to offer high-quality products and an outstanding shopping experience to Quebecers. In the coming fiscal year, the SAQ will continue to invest in its outlet network and in developing its personnel. It will also adapt its procurement strategies in order to offer new products. Lastly, it will continue effectively managing its resources in order to post new productivity gains.
The SAQ's 2012 annual report will be published in the coming days on SAQ.com.
For further information:
Manager, Public Affairs
Société des alcools du Québec
514 254-6000, ext. 6574