Ulta Q1 net sales up 22.9%

The beauty retailer kicked off the year with “better than expected sales and margin performance”

US beauty retailer Ulta has seen its net sales climb 22.9% to $582.7m from $474.1m in the same prior-year quarter. Comparable store sales increased 6.7% including the impact of e-commerce sales, which was lower than last year’s increase of 10.1% in the first quarter of 2012. Operating income, meanwhile, climbed 17.8% to $67.7m. Net income also great - increasing 20.0% to $41.8m compared with $34.9m in the first quarter of last year.

Commenting on the results, Dennis Eck, Interim CEO, stated: "We are pleased to announce a strong start to fiscal 2013, with better than expected sales and margin performance. We are on track to add 125 stores this year, and continue to drive outstanding new store productivity.”

Eck added that both bricks and mortar and e-commerce growth are expected to play an increased role in the company’s future growth: “We opened Clinique boutiques in eight more stores, ending the quarter with 51 stores offering Clinique products, with further expansion planned for the rest of the year. We are delighted to announce the addition of 25 Lancôme boutiques planned for the fall of 2013, and expect to end the year with a significant percentage of our stores featuring one of these iconic brand boutiques. Ulta.com delivered 70% sales growth during the quarter and we are looking forward to launching our redesigned e-commerce platform this fall.”

Looking ahead to the second quarter of 2013, Ulta expects net sales in the range of $579m to $589m, compared with actual net sales of $481.7m in the second quarter of last year.

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