Study finds both male- and female-oriented products sell better
E-commerce sales growth of 49.8% helps fuel Ulta’s Q1
BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Ulta Beauty enjoyed double-digit gains in same-store sales during the first quarter, marking the retailer’s best comparable sales growth since 2011, according to CEO Mary Dillon.
Same-store sales for the period ended May 3 increased 11.4%, driven by 7.2% growth in transactions and 4.2% growth in average ticket. E-commerce sales grew 49.8% to $44 million from $29.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, representing 170 basis points of the total company comparable store sales increase of 11.4%.
“The Ulta Beauty team delivered an excellent start to 2015, with better than expected sales and earnings growth in the first quarter,” stated Dillon. “We achieved our best comparable sales growth since 2011, driven by strong traffic growth in both retail and e-commerce, market share gains across all categories, and continued successful execution of our marketing strategies. We also drove significant operating margin expansion, with a healthy balance of product margin improvement and marketing and payroll expense leverage.”
Retail comparable sales increased 9.7%, including salon comparable sales growth of 10.3%.
For the quarter, net sales increased 21.6% to $868.1 million from $713.8 million in the year-ago period.
Net income increased 34% to $66.9 million compared with $50 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Income per diluted share increased 35.1% to $1.04 compared with 77 cents in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.
For the second quarter of fiscal 2015, the company currently expects net sales in the range of $854 million to $868 million, compared with actual net sales of $734.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Comparable sales for the second quarter of 2015, including e-commerce sales, are expected to increase 7% to 9%. The company reported a comparable sales increase of 9.6% in the second quarter of 2014.
Income per diluted share for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 is estimated to be in the range of $1.07 to $1.12. This compares with income per diluted share for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 of 94 cents.
The company is updating its previously announced fiscal 2015 guidance. The company plans to:
- achieve comparable sales growth of approximately 7% to 9%, including the impact of the e-commerce business, compared to previous guidance of 6% to 8%;
- increase total sales in the mid to high teens percentage range;
- grow e-commerce sales in the 40% range;
- expand square footage by approximately 13% with the opening of 100 net new stores;
- remodel four locations;
- deliver earnings per share growth at the high end of its previous guidance of 15% to 17%, including planned supply chain and system investments, excluding the $0.02 non-recurring tax benefit in Q4 of 2014, and assuming continued share repurchases to offset dilution; and
- incur capital expenditures in the $300 million range in fiscal 2015, compared to $249 million in fiscal 2014.