Ulta Beauty posts 12% sales increase, announces expansion to Canada
American cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty, Inc. reported net sales of $1.74 billion for the first quarter of 2019 on Thursday, up from $1.54 billion in the prior-year period, and also announced that it will be kicking off its international expansion in Canada.
The company’s improved sales reflected a 12% year-over-year increase, while comparable sales rose 7%, accounted for by 4.3% transaction growth and 2.7% growth in average ticket.
Ulta’s quarterly net income also increased 16.9% to $192.2 million, up from $164.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. Diluted earnings per share rose 20.7% to $3.26, compared to $2.70 in Q1 2018.
“The Ulta Beauty team delivered a strong start to the year with solid first quarter sales and earnings performance,” said Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon in a release. “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. We are driving operational excellence across the enterprise, while investing in growth initiatives to fuel the long-term success of Ulta Beauty.”
Dillon went on to outline the company’s intention to establish itself as a “successful global brand,” stating that these efforts would begin with preparations to expand to Canada, which will become the retailer’s first international market.
Ulta is also in the process of expanding its domestic retail footprint, opening 22 stores during the first quarter to end the three-month period with 1,196 locations. In fiscal 2019, the retailer is planning to open approximately 80 new stores in total.
Looking forward, the company expects to see an increase in the low double-digits percentage range in annual sales and comparable sales growth of approximately 6% to 7%. E-commerce growth is predicted to be between 20% and 30%.
Ulta hopes to report diluted earnings per share in the range of $12.83 to $13.03 for fiscal 2019.
Following the announcement of the company’s results, shares in Ulta slipped 3% in after-hours trading on Thursday, as, despite the progress in its sales, revenues came in at the lower end of analysts’ expectations.
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