Ulta Beauty has maintained its mojo heading into the holiday season, with double-digit gains in profits and sales in the third quarter.
“Ulta Beauty’s excellent performance in the third quarter was highlighted by top-line momentum driven by double-digit traffic growth, leading to above-plan earnings growth,” said Mary Dillon, Ulta’s chief executive officer. “As a result of our financial performance in the third quarter and our position of strength heading into the holiday season, we are raising our guidance and now expect our 2015 full-year earnings growth rate to be in the low 20s.”
For the three-month period ended Oct. 31, net income gained 20.14 percent to $71 million, or $1.11 a diluted share, compared with $59.1 million, or 91 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
Net sales increased 22.1 percent to $910.7 million, up from $745.7 million for the same period a year ago. Comparable sales increased 12.8 percent, with retail sales up 10.9 percent, salon sales up 20 percent, and e-commerce up 56.3 percent.
During the company’s earnings call with a Wall Street analyst, Dillon said during the quarter Ulta’s loyalty program reached 17 active members, a year-over-year gain of almost 20 percent.
In the quarter, Ulta opened 45 new stores and shuttered two for a total of 860 stores, representing a 12 percent increase in square footage, compared to the year-ago quarter.
Ulta once again raised its sales and earnings forecast for 2015. The company, which is on track to open 100 new doors this year, expects comps to grow in the range of approximately 10 to 11 percent, compared to previous guidance of 8 to 10 percent.