Ulta Beauty's Q2 fiscal 2021 net sales for the 13 weeks ended July 31, 2021 totaled $ 1,967.2 million, a 56.3% gain from the same period of 2020 ($1,228.0 million). Of course, the initial wave of the pandemic was responsible for the drastic year-to-year comparison, but the most notable aspect of the 2021 results is that they also surpassed pre-pandemic 2019 results, which totaled $1,666.6 million.
The news comes following the opening of the first batch of Ulta Beauty at Target shops, which promise to expand sales further.
Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months, including stores temporarily closed due to COVID-19, and e-commerce sales) increased 56.3%.
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Gross profit increased to $798.0 million, compared to $329.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit increased to 40.6% compared to 26.8% in the second quarter of fiscal 2020.
Operating income increased to $332.3 million, or 16.9% of net sales, compared to $12.8 million, or 1.1% of net sales, in the second quarter of fiscal 2020.
Adjusted operating income for the second quarter of fiscal 2020 was $54.9 million, or 4.5% of net sales. Net income was $250.9 million, compared to $8.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2020.
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The Q2 2021 results were attributed to "favorable impact from stronger consumer confidence and fewer COVID-19 restrictions."
Fiscal 2021 six-month net sales increased 62.7% to $3.9 billion, compared to $2.4 billion in the first six months of fiscal 2020, "primarily due to the favorable impact from improving consumer confidence, government stimulus payments and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions," per the retailer.
Notably, compared to the first six months of fiscal 2019, comparable sales increased 10.0%.
Comparable sales increased 60.9% compared to a decrease of 31.1% in the first six months of fiscal 2020, driven by a 52.5% increase in transactions and a 5.5% increase in average ticket.
Gross profit increased to $1.6 billion, compared to $632.6 million in the first six months of fiscal 2020, while gross profit increased to 39.7%.
Ulta opened new stores in Dyersburg, TN; Gig Harbor, WA; Little Rock; Richmond, TX; Staten Island, NY; Sunnyvale, CA; and Troy, AL; this brings the total number of stores opened in fiscal 2021 to 35. Ulta now has 1,296 stores.
Looking ahead, the retailer has increased its outlook for fiscal 2021 from $7.7-7.8 billion to $8.1-8.3 billion, with a net new store count of 44.
“The Ulta Beauty team delivered strong results for the second quarter," said Dave Kimbell, chief executive officer. "This performance reflects the recovery of the beauty category, investments and choices we’ve made over the last year to adapt to the market disruption and strengthen our leadership position, and the ongoing efforts of our associates to deliver great experiences for our guests. Our value proposition is strong, and we are evolving and innovating to lead in the new beauty landscape, capture additional market share, and drive profitable growth.”