Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. reported net sales increased 12.3% to $268.8 million in the first quarter of 2009 (ended May 2, 2009), up from $239.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Comparable store sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months) decreased 2.3% compared to an increase of 3.9% in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income increased to $4.9 million compared to $4.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2008.
“In a difficult retail environment, we continue to build our customer base and grow loyalty to the Ulta brand, as evidenced by the 2% increase in traffic and expansion in our market share," said Lyn Kirby, president and CEO, Ulta. "As a result, our comparable store sales were at the top end of our first quarter guidance and with careful expense control we achieved earnings ahead of our guidance. Additionally, the prudent management of working capital and capital investment drove $5.6 million in free cash flow for the quarter.”
“As we begin the second quarter, we remain confident in our ability to win market share by continuing to execute on our core strategies, new brand expansion, and unique merchandising and marketing. Quarter-to-date, our comparable store sales are consistent with our performance in the first quarter and we are excited about the expanded rollout of Benefit cosmetics that begins this week," said Kirby.
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