Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. blames NHL lockout for third-quarter beer slump

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Crown liquor corporation says the NHL lockout was largely to blame for lower beer sales in its third quarter.

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. says beer sales were down 1.1 per cent between Oct. 1, 2012 and Dec. 30, 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

The corporation says even a small dip is significant because beer accounts for more than 40 per cent of its overall sales.

The NHL returned to the ice in mid-January after a battle between the league and players that lasted for nearly four months.

Overall, the liquor corporation recorded sales of $157.6 million in the third quarter compared to $156.6 million in the same period in 2011 with increases in both wine and spirits sales.

The corporation says its income for the third quarter was $60.8 million, down by $500,000 compared with last year.

The total volume of alcohol sold in the third quarter was down 2.1 per cent from the same time last year.

Wholesale sales, such as those at bars, restaurants and stores, were $26.3 million, a decrease of about 0.7 per cent.