State Auditor Rebecca Otto painted a somewhat sunny picture of the state of Minnesota's municipally-owned on-and-off sale alcohol establishments in a report released Thursday.
Otto said only 38 city-owned on-sale or off-sale liquor stores lost money in 2009, opposed to 42 in 2008. And only one store closed in 2008, bucking the trend of the previous 10 years.
Most of Minnesota's city-owned liquor establishments made a profit last year. The auditor's annual survey of the 242 on- and off-sale liquor businesses showed they returned more than $16 million to their cities' coffers. But that number represented a decrease of 7.0 percent from the total net transfers made in 2008.
Net profits for all operations in Minnesota totaled $21.9 million, a 7.1 percent increase from 2008. Over the last five years, net profits have increased 16.4 percent.
Sales in 2009 totaled $311.2 million, an increase of $8.2 million, or 2.7 percent, over 2008. It was the 14th straight year of increased sales.