BEAUTY CARE

Ulta’s CFO Gregg Bodnar to step down

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Ulta has announced that it is implementing a CFO succession plan after Gregg Bodnar, the company’s CFO and assistant secretary, informed the company that because of a family health issue, he will be required to relocate to Michigan and will step down from his current position when a successor can be identified.

CEO Chuck Rubin and the company’s board, with the assistance of an executive search firm, will begin searching for a successor. In order to facilitate an orderly transition, Bodnar will remain in his present position pending the appointment of a successor and will assist in the transition. Bodnar joined Ulta as CFO in September 2006.

“While I regret that Gregg will be leaving the company later this year, I understand and respect his personal commitment to his family. Gregg has contributed greatly to Ulta, including building an excellent team that I am confident will maintain its strong performance. I am pleased that Gregg will continue in his current responsibilities and will assist in the successful hiring and onboarding of a new CFO,” stated Chuck Rubin, Ulta’s president and CEO.

Bodnar stated, “My decision to leave was made even more difficult given the strength of my relationship with Chuck, the management team and the board, and the confidence I have in the company’s strategy. I have enjoyed immensely being a part of the company’s success and look forward to its continued growth and remaining an investor in Ulta. However, I must attend to a family issue that requires me to relocate. I am confident that we have developed the strategy necessary to achieve a seamless transition. We have a very strong team in place across our organization, and I am dedicated to assisting Chuck and the board find the very best CFO and will remain in my position to provide an orderly succession.”

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BEAUTY CARE

Ulta continues ‘positive momentum’ in Q4

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Ulta posted double-digit gains in same-store sales and net income during the fourth quarter.

Net sales for the quarter ended Jan. 28 rose 23% to $582.5 million. Same-store sales rose 11.5%, compared with an increase of 10.4% during the year-ago period.

Net income increased 53.8% to $46.3 million, or 73 cents per diluted share, compared with $30.1 million, or 49 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

“As we look forward into 2012 and beyond, we are focused on building upon our successful strategies and determining priorities for the strong cash position we have developed,” stated Chuck Rubin, president and CEO. “Given the attractive returns from our new store program, we are further accelerating our square footage growth in 2012 to approximately 22%, or 100 new locations.”

Rubin also noted that its board of directors has declared a special cash dividend of $1 per share to shareholders of record as of March 20, with a payment date of May 15.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the company expects net sales to be in the range of $452 million to $460 million, compared with actual net sales of $386 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. This assumes a comparable-store sales increase of 6% to 8%, compared with an 11% increase last year.

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Keeping skin care simple

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever has introduced the U.K. facial skin care brand, Simple, to the U.S. market with the launch of Simple Sensitive Skin Experts. The collection is touted as the only mass facial skin care line specifically for those with sensitive skin.

The collection is comprised of 13 items and includes cleansers, moisturizers, eye care products and wipes. The suggested retail prices range from $5.99 to $12.99. The Simple brand has more than 50 years of heritage in the United Kingdom.

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