The national retailer showed that net sales were up by 7.9% to $1.68 billion in the third quarter, while for the full nine month period the sales were up by 10.9% to $5.1 billion.
Net income for the first three months was very slightly down at $129.7 million, while over the nine month period the figure increased from $443.9 million to $483.2 million.
Celebrity and higher-margin products win
In a conference call, the company state that its sales results for the latest quarter were driven by demand for higher-margin products, with celebrity endorsed product lines playing a major part in these gains.
The retailer attributed its growth to brands such as Kylie Jenner and YouTube celebrity James Charles for driving the results, and getting younger consumers into its stores.
A few years ago celebrity cosmetics and fragrance sales were lagging, as consumers tried out the burgeoning offerings from smaller indie beauty companies, but more recently social media channels have been driving the popularity of a new generation of celebrity color cosmetic artists and entrepreneur, a trend Ulta has been able to tap into.
Over 30 store opening in Q3
As well as refining its product offerings in favor of more premium lines, the company has also been focused on store expansion, opening a further 31 stores across a range of states all over the U.S. during the latest quarter.
“Our differentiated model is winning in the marketplace. The Ulta Beauty team delivered another quarter of solid top-line performance, gross margin expansion, and EPS growth, despite the current challenges facing the U.S. cosmetics category,” said Mary Dillon, Chief Executive Officer.
“We continue to gain market share across all major beauty categories, and we are extending our leadership position by creating stronger connections with our guests and engaging with them in better and more exciting ways.”