The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) has released its unaudited draft financial results for fiscal year (FY) 2021, to the Virginia Department of Accounts and the Auditor of Public Accounts.
The results show gross revenue of $1.4 billion, up $163 million over FY 2020.
ABC fiscal year revenues include the sale of distilled spirits, Virginia wines and mixers, and the collection of license fees and other miscellaneous revenues, from July 1 through June 30.
Each year, per the Code of Virginia, Virginia ABC remits earnings to the commonwealth for designated state programs and services. For FY 2021, ABC contributed a total of $616.4 million, an increase of $71.1 million over the previous year. This reflects $237.3 million in profits from retail sales, $294 million in taxes (retail) and $85.1 million collected in wine and beer taxes.
“The resourcefulness and dedication of our ABC teammates, especially those in retail and distribution, enabled us to overcome tremendous challenges to achieve a record-breaking year,” says Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “Leveraging our flexibility as an independent authority and the creativity of our employees, we have become nimbler and more customer-focused, enabling us to better serve Virginians at the highest level for decades to come.”
During FY 2021, retail sales grew 14.7%, with six new ABC stores generating nearly $4.9 million in sales. ABC oversaw four store remodels and 10 store relocations to growing market areas, enhancing customer service and accessibility. Sunday sales also continued to play a role in the rising revenue, increasing by 11.8% in FY 2021 to $104.9 million.
An increase in online orders was a major contributor at the start of FY 2021, as customers used in-store pick-up, curbside pick-up and next day shipping to maintain social distancing. While the rate of online orders declined over the course of the year as customers returned to in person shopping, online transactions continued to be well ahead of pre-pandemic levels as ABC expanded availability of shipping and introduced same day delivery on a limited basis.
Sales to restaurant and hospitality businesses demonstrate the pandemic’s ongoing impact on these segments of our economy. After being heavily impacted late in FY 2020 as the pandemic started, sales to licensees returned over the course of FY 2021, ultimately reaching historic levels of spirits purchased in the final months of the fiscal year. With the slow growth back to pre-pandemic levels, licensee sales finished FY 2021 at a 5.6% increase over the prior year.
According to FY 2021 sales, the top five brands purchased in Virginia ABC stores were:
- Tito’s Handmade – domestic vodka
- Hennessy VS – cognac/Armagnac
- Jack Daniel’s 7 Black – Tennessee whiskey
- Patron Silver – tequila
- Jim Beam – straight bourbon
Of the five top sellers, Patron Silver tequila saw the most impressive leap in sales, from $20.9 million to $28.9 million, a 38.1% increase, followed by Hennessy VS cognac from $46.9 million to $52.8 million, a 12.6% increase. Tito’s Handmade vodka sales also increased from $52.3 million to $57.9 million, a 10.5% increase over FY 2020.