Ulta reports strong sales and further expansion plans

By Simon Pitman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ulta reports strong sales and further expansion plans
The cosmetic and beauty retailer is going from strength to strength on the back of its focus on a wider selection of color cosmetics, with sales for the latest quarter strong and more stores planned.

Net sales for the business increased by 21% during the fourth quarter to $1.26bn, reflecting gains across all divisions, including both e-commerce and stores.

Retail store and e-commerce sales showed an  increase of 12.5% compared to the same period last year, which was driven mostly by an increase in the volume of sales, but also due to a 3.9% growth in average ticket prices.

e-commerce drives sales gains

Breaking that figure down, retail sales were up 10.4%, while salon sales were up 16.7% to $54.6m and e-commerce sales grew by 44.2% to $94.8m.

For the fiscal year 2015 total net sales increased by 21.1% to $3.92bn, a figure that was driven by double-digit gains in the mainstay retail division.

“Our fourth quarter results capped an exceptional year during which we made significant progress against our strategic imperatives, while achieving outstanding sales and earnings growth,”​ said Mary Dillon, Chief Executive Officer.

“We continue to benefit from the powerful combination of strong demand in the beauty category and Ulta Beauty’s highly differentiated offering that propels our business to transcend prevailing trends across the retail landscape.”

More store openings planned and further sales growth

Building on the success of the sales gains in 2015, the company says it now wants to continue its store expansion, building on a further 14 stores that were opened across the nation during the fourth quarter.

The company said it ended the fourth quarter with 874 stores and square footage of 9,225,957 which represents a 13% increase in square footage compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.  

Looking ahead to the rest of 2016, the company says it wants to remodel 12 existing locations and expand through a further 100 store openings, all with the aim of increasing comparable sales growth for the year by 8 to 10%, while growing e-commerce sales by a further 40%.

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