Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board said yesterday that the sales of wines, spirits and accessories increased by US$100m, or more than 7.5%, over the previous fiscal year. It is the second consecutive year that PLCB sales have grown by more than 7%.

The PLCB's sales in fiscal year 2004-05, which ended on Tuesday (28 June), are projected to reach US$1.46bn, compared with US$1.36bn in fiscal year 03-04. That year's sales represented a 7.4% increase over US$1.26bn in FY 02-03. 

Chairman Jonathan Newman said: "The PLCB has not experienced a two-year sales period this strong since 1944 through 1946. Retail sales increased 8.1%, including a 9.3% improvement in retail wine sales, and licensee sales increased 5.6%."

Newman attributed the growth to the positive impact of the PLCB's recent marketing initiatives, such as Sunday hours and improved selection and pricing.

The agency projects it will generate US$384.3m in profits and taxes. In addition to profits and taxes transferred to the state treasury, the PLCB provided more than US$18m to the Pennsylvania State Police for liquor law enforcement and US$1.7m to the Department of Health for drug and alcohol programs. The PLCB returned $4.6m in license fees to local municipalities.