First quarter sales at Ulta Beauty were up double-digits as the retailer reported a healthy balance of traffic and ticket growth. Ulta also noted that it will expand internationally, starting with Canada.
For the three months ended May 4, net sales increased 12.9% to $1.7 billion. Comparable store sales, which includes sales from stores open at least 14 months and e-commerce sales, grew 7%. Company officials said the comp store growth was driven by transaction growth of 4.3% and 2.7% growth in average ticket.
Net income increased 16.9% to $192.2 million compared to $164.4 million in the comparable quarter the previous year. Diluted earnings per share increased 20.7% to $3.26.
“These results reflect a healthy balance of traffic and ticket growth, and double-digit comparable sales growth in mass cosmetics, skin care and fragrance, tempered by continued mixed performance in prestige cosmetics,” said Mary Dillon, Ulta’s CEO. “We are driving operational excellence across the enterprise while investing in growth initiatives to fuel the long-term success of Ulta Beauty.”
She also announced that the company will expand internationally and will launch operations in Canada.
During a conference call to review first quarter results, Dillon called Canada “a logical place to start” for international expansion and said the retailer will launch stores and an e-commerce operation north of the border. However, she declined to offer more specifics on the company’s expansion into Canada.