Ulta Beauty posts Q4 results

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Ulta Beauty posted a “strong” fourth quarter and is going forward with plans to invest in several areas of the business, including the expansion of its Clinique boutiques.

Net sales for the quarter, including the benefit of the 14th week in the quarter, rose 30.3% to $758.8 million compared with the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 8% during the quarter.

Net income rose 39.4% to $64.5 million versus $46.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

“The Ulta team achieved strong fourth-quarter results to complete an exceptional year in 2012. 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,” stated Dennis Eck, interim CEO.

Eck noted that the company is on track to open 125 stores this year and will continue the expansion of Clinique boutiques this year, in addition to the 43 boutiques rolled out at the end of 2012. Furthermore, the retailer plans to invest in several areas of the business. This will include upgrading its warehouse management systems, preparing for an additional distribution center in 2014, redesigning its e-commerce site, and building the additional Clinique boutiques, as well as investing in labor to support the growth of its prestige categories.

For fiscal year 2012, net sales, including the benefit of the 53rd week, increased 25% to $2.2 billion from $1.8 billion in fiscal 2011. Same-store sales for the year increased 8.8%.

Net income increased 43.5% to $172.5 million compared with $120.3 million in fiscal 2011.

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