By  on November 1, 2007

Bare Escentuals is taking mineral makeup globe-trotting, as the beauty firm rolls out to more points of retail distribution in the U.S. and expands abroad.

During a conference call Thursday evening, Bare Escentuals' chief executive officer, Leslie Blodgett, told analysts, "Bare Escentuals needs to expand its points of physical distribution with our strategic retail partners."

At the end of the third quarter, the brand had about 515 points of distribution across Sephora, Ulta, its branded boutiques and selected Nordstrom and Macy's doors. Blodgett said she expects to grow that distribution network by three to four times the current level. She added that the firm sees the opportunity to expand the door count of its branded boutiques from the current 45 stores to 400 units in the long term. It's international focus currently includes Japan, the U.K., Germany and France.

Bare Escentuals' retail expansion fueled net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 to $20.5 million, or 22 cents a diluted share, from $8.9 million, or 12 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales gained some 29.3 percent to $126.6 million from $97.9 million.

For the nine-month period, net income was $61.1 million, compared with $33.9 million, on sales that gained 29 percent, to $366.4 million from $284 million in the year-ago period.

For fiscal 2008, Bare Escentuals forecasts that growth will be in line with its long-term revenue expansion target of between 20 and 25 percent. It expects profits to grow in line with its long-term earnings growth rate of roughly 25 percent.

Blodgett said the company's consumer research indicates that 70 percent of cosmetics users are aware of Bare Escentuals, which indicates the need to expand the brand to more places, including department stores. Its department store business is currently focused on Nordstrom, and to a lesser extent, Macy's, where the brand is sold in about 10 doors.

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