Ulta Beauty adds shimmer to retail sales
For the first quarter ended April 29, Ulta proved once again that it's one of the best contenders for surviving the age of Amazon. Not only did it post higher than expected comps, but it is also doubling down on bricks and mortar by announcing it plans to open 100 new stores in fiscal 2018.
“The Ulta Beauty team kicked off 2017 with excellent performance in the first quarter,” said Mary Dillon, Chief Executive Officer. “Strong execution of our growth strategies delivered above plan sales and earnings growth. Our results reflect continued newness and innovation in merchandising, successful marketing programs, steady progress in our salon business and exceptional growth in e-commerce.”
Ulta posted earnings of $2.05 a share on $1.31 billion in revenue. Analysts had projected earnings of $1.80 a share on $1.28 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates. Ulta also said comparable-store sales grew 14.3 percent. Most impressive, the retailer posted a whopping 70.9% boost in e-commerce sales to $104.3 million from $61.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
Retail comparable sales increased 10.9%, including salon comparable sales growth of 9.9%; salon sales increased 16.7% to $68.7 million from $58.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Net income increased 39.4% to $128.2 million compared to $92.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
During the first quarter, the company opened 18 stores. The company ended the first quarter with 990 stores and square footage of 10,433,185, which represents a 12% increase in square footage compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
For the second quarter, Ulta expects net sales in the range of $1,257 million to $1,278 million, compared to actual net sales of $1,069.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Comparable sales for the second quarter of 2017, including e-commerce sales, are expected to increase 10% to 12%.