Results showed that net sales increased 22.4 percent to $505.6 million for the third quarter this year, compared to $413.1 million during the same period last year.
“Ulta drove better than expected sales growth and operating margin improvement to deliver outstanding performance in the third quarter,” said Chuck Rubin, president and CEO.
“We gained market share across all of our major product categories through our disciplined focus on the five components of our multi-year growth strategy: accelerating store growth, introducing new products, services and brands, enhancing our loyalty program, broadening our marketing reach, and increasing our digital focus including Ulta.com.”
During the three month period Ulta opened 49 stores, increasing its store base by 10 percent during a single quarter, and completed most of its previously announced prestige brand boutiques.
However, comparable store sales, for stores open at least 14 months, did not quite see the same growth as last year; increasing 8.4 percent compared to an increase of 9.6 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2011.
Ulta is currently completing a renovation of its 15,407-square-foot Santa Fe store which it describes as “the largest beauty retailer that provides one-stop shopping for prestige, mass and salon products and salon services in the United States.”
The Santa Fe store appears to be part of an expansion that, according to Ulta, could see the company grow to 1,200 locations, building on new developments of the third quarter.
“We ended the quarter with Lancôme boutiques in 79 of our stores and Clinique boutiques in 42 stores,” added Rubin. “Looking ahead to next year, we expect to exceed our long-term plans for 15 to 20 percent annual store growth and currently plan to open approximately 125 stores in 2013, representing 22 percent square footage growth.”
“We are confident that Ulta will continue to grow its position as a beauty and trend authority and drive strong sales and profit growth in the quarters and years to come.”