Ulta to continue ‘successful game plan’ in 2010
BOLINGBROOK, Ill. Beauty retailer Ulta wrapped up a favorable fiscal 2009 and is upbeat about fiscal 2010 as it continues to expand its store base, reduce expenses and generate free cash flow.
“We are very pleased with our fourth-quarter performance. Our results surpassed the increased guidance we provided in January and included a 6.2% comparable-store sales increase, a 60 basis point improvement in merchandise margin and continued momentum of our cost management initiatives, all of which contributed to a 61.9% increase in diluted earnings per share — a strong finish to the year,” stated Lyn Kirby, Ulta’s president and CEO.
Net sales for the fourth quarter rose 16.1% to $396.4 millioQ4 n, compared with $341.4 million in the year-ago period.
Net income for the quarter rose 64.6% to $20.2 million from $12.3 million in the year-ago period.
Kirby noted that for fiscal 2009 it exceeded each of its three goals: growing profitable market share, achieving permanent cost efficiencies and delivering free cash flow. For the year, same-store sales rose 1.4% and store expansion continued with square footage increasing 12%. The company also achieved $19 million in permanent cost reductions and generated free cash flow of $104.7 million for fiscal 2009.
“As we begin fiscal 2010, we continue to build on our successful 2009 game plan. We are particularly optimistic about our opportunities for market share gains through comparable-store sales growth and new store expansion,” stated Kirby. “We expect to continue to generate free cash flow in 2010 while we increase our capital investment in support of our long term growth and believe that we will deliver another strong earnings performance in fiscal 2010.”
The company, which ended the quarter with 346 stores, plans to open roughly 46 new stores in fiscal 2010, remodel 13 locations and relocate six stores.
Additional plans for fiscal 2010 include:
- Incur capital expenditures of about $100 million, compared with $68.1 million in fiscal 2009
- Reduce inventory by about 5% on an average per store basis by year-end 2010
- Permanently reduce expenses by $5 million
- Generate free cash flow.
Got2b gives products a new look
NEW YORK Hair care brand got2b has a new look that consumers will see on store shelves beginning this month.
The core line along with signature lines — smooth operator, fat-tastic, guardian angel, 2sexy and glued — now have a unified, modern look. Each mousse and spray will have a similar shape and look, no matter the line, so that the brand is instantly recognizable.
In addition, each product is now packaged in brushed silver canisters for a more unified effect.
Helen of Troy acquires Pert Plus, Sure brands
EL PASO, Texas Helen of Troy has reached an agreement to acquire the Pert Plus hair care and Sure antiperspirant and deodorant businesses from Innovative Brands.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close at the end of this month.
Innovative Brands, which is a portfolio company of private investment firm Najafi Cos., acquired the Pert Plus and Sure brands from Procter & Gamble in 2006.
“We are very pleased to acquire the Pert Plus and Sure brands from Innovative Brands. We have a growing position in hair care styling and personal grooming with our innovative appliance and accessory businesses and adding Pert Plus and Sure will enhance our role as a comprehensive provider of solutions for our hair care and personal grooming consumers and styling professionals,” stated Gerald Rubin, chairman, CEO and president of Helen of Troy.
Rubin stated that the Pert Plus and Sure brands will be integrated into its Idelle Labs division, which markets and manages its hair and skin care products. Consumer product brands currently sold by Idelle Labs include Infusium 23, which it acquired from P&G in March 2009; Brut; Vitalis; Final Net; Sea Breeze and Condition 3-in-1.
Helen of Troy expects the Pert Plus and Sure brands to generate roughly $65 million in annual sales for the Idelle Labs division and to be accretive upon integration.
Rubin noted that Helen of Troy will “continue to pursue similar acquisitions that can be integrated into Helen of Troy and provide accretive earnings to our shareholders.”