The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) announced another record breaking year, with fiscal year 2019 revenue in excess of $1 billion, up $71.8 million over the previous year.
Virginia ABC revenue includes the sale of distilled spirits, license fees and other miscellaneous revenues. “ABC’s revenue growth is primarily the result of adding stores around the state to improve customer convenience, a robust series of targeted seasonal promotional campaigns and changing consumer trends,” said Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “We opened seven new stores in the last fiscal year, which provided greater accessibility for customers and increased sales. Customers aren’t necessarily drinking more; they’re buying more premium products that have a higher per bottle price tag. Additionally, they’re choosing distilled spirits over other products.”
Each year, per the Code of Virginia, Virginia ABC disburses earnings back to the commonwealth (see a graphic depiction of ABC’s disbursements). For fiscal year 2019, ABC disbursed a total of $499.5 million, an increase of $34.8 million over the previous year. These profits reflect $196.7 million in sales, $223 million in taxes (retail) and $79.8 million collected in wine and beer taxes.
“Virginia ABC benefits all Virginians, regardless of whether they shop in any of our 380 stores,” said Board Chairman Jeff Painter. “We provide valuable education and prevention curriculum for all ages including programs geared to young children and teens to prevent underage alcohol use. Additionally, our special agents are extensively trained in the complexities of ABC law and regulations, enabling them to work directly with approximately 19,000 business partners that sell and serve alcohol to ensure compliance with alcoholic beverage control laws and reduce criminal activities involving alcohol.”
During fiscal year 2019, retail sales grew 7.1% and licensee sales (sales to restaurants) climbed 6.3%. Virginia ABC’s seven new stores generated nearly $8 million in sales. ABC oversaw eight store remodels and four store relocations to improved market areas, enhancing customer service and accessibility. Sunday sales also continue to play a role in the rising revenue, increasing by 7.4% in fiscal year 2019 to $79 million.
“Our 4,000 full and part-time employees are our most valuable asset,” said Hill. “From the local ABC store associates who share their knowledge of distilled spirits to help you find the perfect gift for a bourbon-loving friend, to the hard-working warehouse employees who accurately pick and ship millions of cases of product each year, Virginia ABC was able to reach this $1 billion milestone. It’s because of these dedicated employees that we are able to serve as a dependable and consistently growing source of revenue for the commonwealth.”
According to fiscal year 2019 sales, the top five brands purchased in Virginia ABC stores remain: 1. Tito’s Handmade – domestic vodka 2. Hennessy VS – cognac/armagnac 3. Jack Daniel’s 7 Black – Tennessee whiskey 4. Jim Beam – straight bourbon 5. Fireball Cinnamon – imported cordial.
Of the five top sellers, Tito’s Handmade domestic vodka saw the most impressive leap in sales, from $33.5 million to $42.1 million, a 26% increase followed by Hennessy VS from $33.2 million to $35.3 million, a 6.5% increase over fiscal year 2018.
Virginia ABC submitted its unaudited draft financial statements to the Virginia Department of Accounts and Auditor of Public Accounts. The final, audited results will be released in the fall.
For more information about Virginia ABC’s sales and revenue, visit www.abc.virginia.gov.