Ulta Holiday Sales Up

Ulta Beauty announced sales results for the seven-week holiday period from November 11, 2012 to December 29, 2012. This period corresponds with the company’s holiday marketing initiatives and represents the seven full weeks beginning the week before Thanksgiving through the end of the week of Christmas.

Total sales for the seven-week holiday period were $475.6 million, a 23.2% increase from the prior year holiday period’s sales of $386 million. Comparable store sales for the 2012 holiday period increased 7.4%, on top of a 12.6% increase during the same period in the prior year. Over a two year period, comparable store sales increased 20%. The company’s comparable store sales exclude e-commerce sales.

Chuck Rubin, Ulta president and CEO, stated, “We were pleased with our holiday sales performance given the numerous national news events that appeared to have curtailed customer purchasing behavior across most of retail. After a record sales performance during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, sales in December slowed before strongly rebounding the weekend before Christmas. Customers were more sensitive to value as they shopped our stores and online throughout the holiday period. We believe we gained market share across our major categories, with prestige ski ncare and cosmetics delivering our strongest growth. We are confident our strategy will continue to drive market share gains and positions us well for long-term growth.”

With this reporting, Ulta is reaffirming its fourth quarter fiscal 2012 outlook provided in conjunction with its third quarter fiscal 2012 results announced on November 29, 2012.

The company expects fourth quarter fiscal 2012 net sales in the range of $742–754 million. Fourth quarter fiscal 2011 net sales were $582.5 million. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 are expected to increase in a range of 5–7%, which includes the impact from hurricane Sandy. Fourth quarter fiscal 2011 comparable sales increased 11.5%. This sales guidance range reflects expectations for two year comparable store sales to increase 16.5% to 18.5%.

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