“The Ulta Beauty team delivered excellent results in 2017, achieving 11 percent comparable sales growth and 25 percent adjusted earnings growth,” said Chief Executive Officer Mary Dillon. “We also achieved strong sales and earnings growth in Q4 while continuing to gain market share and make significant progress on our strategic imperatives, despite continued moderation in the growth rate of makeup, our largest category.”
For the Full year of fiscal 2017, net sales jumped 21.2% to $5.9 billion. Operating income increased 19.9% to $785.3 million.
“Looking ahead to 2018, we are deploying a portion of the tax reform benefits to invest in our people and accelerate investments to drive growth and innovation,” said Dillon. “We also recognize operating margin headwinds from various cost pressures facing all retailers, our higher than expected mix of e-commerce, and the new revenue recognition accounting standard. To help offset these pressures, we are implementing a cost optimization program to deliver benefits in the areas of indirect procurement, end-to-end operational efficiency, real estate costs, and merchandise margin improvement. We plan to increase operating profit margin rate over the long term, but this measure is expected to decline modestly in 2018.
“Going forward, rather than guiding to a precise operating margin target or timeline, we will instead ask our stakeholders to focus on how we create value through our very healthy earnings per share and margin dollar growth. We are confident that our plan allows us to continue delivering industry leading results, while making us a more competitive employer, enhancing the guest experience, and allowing us to invest in growth platforms to drive sustainable differentiation and the long-term success of the business.”