HomeWorld Business Magazine, homeworldbusiness.com | The Newspaper For Housewares Decision Makers

Ulta Generates Gains, Intends Investment

Friday March 15th, 2013 - 9:36AM


In the fiscal year ended February 2, Ulta Beauty net income increased 43.5% to $172.5 million versus $120.3 million in fiscal 2011, the company announced, as net income per diluted share increased 41.1% to $2.68 versus $1.90 in the year earlier. With five cents earnings per share from a 53rd week in the 2012 fiscal year excluded, income per diluted share increased 38.4% from the 52 weeks in the year before.

Comparable store sales increased 8.8%, the company reported, while net sales, including the benefit of the 53rd week, increased 25% to $2.22 billion year over year. Operating income advanced to $280 million, or 12.6% of net sales, versus $196.2 million, or 11% of net sales, in fiscal 2011, the company related.

In the fourth quarter, according to Ulta, net income increased 39.4% to $64.5 million compared to $46.3 million in the 2011 period as income per diluted share increased 37% to $1 versus 73 cents. With the five cents earnings per share benefit of a 14th week in the fourth quarter subtracted, income per diluted share increased 30.1% compared to 13 weeks in the 2011 period.

Comparable store sales gained 8%, while net sales, including the benefit of the 14th week, increased 30.3% to $758.8 million compared to the $582.5 million generated in the 2011 fourth quarter.

Operating income advanced to $103.8 million, or 13.7% of net sales, versus $73.2 million, or 12.6% of net sales, in the 2011 period.

“Excellent execution of our multi-year growth strategy was evident in the milestones achieved during the year: we increased square footage by 23% with the addition of 101 net new stores, we greatly enhanced our offering with newness across the board, we implemented a new customer relationship management platform, broadened our marketing reach and brand awareness, and improved our digital capabilities including rapid growth in our e-commerce business,” Dennis Eck, Ulta interim CEO, stated.

Eck continued, “We believe that Ulta will continue to drive rapid sales and earnings growth, while continuing to invest in the infrastructure needed to sustain the growth of our retail and digital businesses. We are on track to open 125 stores this year, and continue to see a strong pipeline of new brands, products and services to enhance our offering. We are excited to announce that we will be continuing the expansion of Clinique boutiques this year, in addition to the 43 boutiques rolled out at the end of 2012. To provide a solid foundation for Ulta’s growth in the years ahead, we plan to invest in several areas of the business. This will include upgrading our warehouse management systems, preparing for an additional distribution center in 2014, redesigning our e-commerce site, and building the additional Clinique boutiques as well as investing in labor to support the growth of our prestige categories.”