“Ulta drove better than expected sales growth and operating margin improvement to deliver outstanding performance in the third quarter,” said Chuck Rubin, president and chief executive officer. “We gained market share across all of our major product categories through our disciplined focus on the five components of our multi-year growth strategy: accelerating store growth, introducing new products, services and brands, enhancing our loyalty program, broadening our marketing reach, and increasing our digital focus including Ulta.com.
“Ulta’s third quarter underscores our team’s strength in execution: we opened 49 stores, increasing Ulta’s store base by 10% during a single quarter, and we completed most of the previously announced prestige brand boutiques,” continued Rubin. “We ended the quarter with Lancôme boutiques in 79 of our stores and Clinique boutiques in 42 stores.”
For the first nine months, net sales increased 22.4% to $1.5 billion. Comparable store sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months) increased 9.3%, while operating income increased 43.3% to $176.2 million. Net income increased 46% to $108.0 million.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, Ulta expects net sales in the range of $742 million to $754 million.