BEAUTY CARE

Ulta posts Q2 net sales increase of 17.6%, net income up 127.2%

BY Drug Store News Team

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. Beauty retailer Ulta on Thursday announced a net sales increase of 17.6% to $321.8 million for its second quarter, ended July 31, compared with $273.5 million in the same period last year.

Comparable-store sales increased 10.8%, compared with a decrease of 1.7% in second quarter 2009. Gross profit increased 350 basis points to 32.3% from 28.8% last year.

Operating income increased 117.4% to $22.3 million, or 6.9% of net sales, compared with $10.2 million, or 3.7% of net sales, in the prior-year period. Net income increased 127.2% to $13.1 million compared with $5.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009. Income per diluted share more than doubled to 22 cents, including 3 cents per diluted share related to the nonrecurring compensation charge. Income per diluted share was 25 cents, excluding the nonrecurring compensation charge.

“We are very pleased to report an excellent second quarter 2010 performance,” said Lyn Kirby, CEO of Ulta. “Despite a slow economic recovery, the momentum on our business is very strong as we reap the benefits of our market share strategies implemented in 2009 and continue to execute against these strategies in 2010. Growth was balanced across all major product categories. Our performance reflects the continued strength of our business model with dynamic marketing, compelling merchandising, new brand introductions and the continued leverage of our powerful loyalty program.”

“We begin the third quarter with very strong momentum fueled by the continuation of our marketing, merchandising and stores expansion strategies,” stated Chuck Rubin, president and COO. “During the third quarter we expect to continue to drive traffic and average ticket growth as we leverage our loyalty program, offer compelling value and introduce new brands. The third quarter will include the continued brand introduction of Philosophy skin care and the launch of Tarte in prestige cosmetics. Our store expansion plans remain on track to deliver 28 new stores in the third quarter and a 13% increase in square footage growth for the year. We will also maintain our judicious control of expenses and inventory. As our guidance suggests, we expect to deliver continued strong results in the third quarter.”

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Liquid Keratin Bold at-home treatment hitting retail

BY Antoinette Alexander

BETHESDA, Md. Canadian-based Liquid Keratin has announced that it is expanding its at-home keratin treatment product line with the U.S. launch of Liquid Keratin Bold for multi-ethnic hair types in stores across the United States this fall.

Liquid Keratin Bold will be available at Ulta retail stores and online at Beauty.com in September, and other retail locations starting in October.

This stronger formulation of Liquid Keratin was designed specifically to provide worry-free manageability to ethnically diverse hair types without the use of formaldehyde or other harsh chemicals. The Liquid Keratin line gives consumers the option to wear their hair curly, wavy or straight without frizz or expensive, lengthy salon visits. The spray-on treatment is designed to provide results lasting as long as 30 days for treatment-resistant hair.

“Having listened to our customers and hearing their comments and suggestions, I knew it was time to go back to the lab and reformulate,” stated David Allice, president of Liquid Keratin. “We needed to create a product that met the demands of women with stronger curl patterns, so they too could enjoy the full benefits of Liquid Keratin. Liquid Keratin Bold does just that, while remaining nontoxic and the only do-it-yourself keratin treatment on the market.”

The Liquid Keratin Bold starter kit will be sold for $69 and contains a 4.2-oz. Liquid Keratin Bold spray 30-day treatment and four trial-size (1.7 oz.) ancillary products to enhance the results of the Liquid Keratin Bold treatment (Keratin Infusing healthy hair shampoo, Keratin Infusing deep de-frizz conditioner and Keratin Filling leave-in conditioner). 

Being added to the line this fall are the Keratin Infused volumizing and revitalizing dry shampoo, Keratin Infused shine and moisture-renewing dry conditioner and Keratin Infused deep conditioning oil with argan and baobab oils. These ancillary products, as well as the Keratin Sealing shine serum, also are sold separately as full-size items from $27 to $39.

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Neutrogena’s Wave for Change campaign raises $200K

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Skin care brand Neutrogena’s Wave for Change campaign, with the help of teens across America, achieved its goal of raising $200,000 for communities in need. The donation will be divided among three causes in the United States and globally, as determined by teens on Neutrogena’s Facebook page.

Neutrogena invited teens to show their support for the campaign by purchasing oil-free acne wash pink grapefruit products and the Wave Sonic power-cleanser. For every product sold, Neutrogena pledged $1, up to $200,000, to GlobalGiving, an organization that links donors to such causes as environmental, educational and disaster-relief charities. GlobalGiving was instrumental in selecting three charities that aligned with the three causes identified by Neutrogena.

The teens helped determine how to split the donation among the causes. The final distribution of funding, based on the results of the online activity, was as follows:

  • 68% to the Women’s Global Education Project, a charity that supports education;
  • 23% to the Lambi Fund of Haiti, a charity that provides disaster relief; and
  • 9% to the Whaleman Foundation, a charity that works to protect the environment.

With their share of the funds, the Women’s Global Education Project will help girls in rural Africa who otherwise would not be able to attend school. The organization’s efforts include scholarships for girls and adult literacy classes for mothers so they can support their daughters in school.

The Lambi Fund of Haiti will use its share of the funds to help women and children affected by the recent Haiti earthquake. Its outreach includes providing clean drinking water and proper sanitation for local families, as well as protection from violence for thousands of women and children forced to live in tent cities.

The Whaleman Foundation will use its share of the funds to help wildlife impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The campaign funds will help support the animals’ rescue and a research mission in the Gulf.

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