“We believe that Ulta will continue to drive rapid sales and earnings growth, while continuing to invest in the infrastructure needed to sustain the growth of our retail and digital businesses. We are on track to open 125 stores this year, and continue to see a strong pipeline of new brands, products and services to enhance our offering. We are excited to announce that we will be continuing the expansion of Clinique boutiques this year, in addition to the 43 boutiques rolled out at the end of 2012. To provide a solid foundation for Ulta’s growth in the years ahead, we plan to invest in several areas of the business. This will include upgrading our warehouse management systems, preparing for an additional distribution center in 2014, redesigning our e-commerce site, and building the additional Clinique boutiques as well as investing in labor to support the growth of our prestige categories. We are confident that Ulta will continue to gain market share and grow its position as a beauty and trend authority. We have a strong, tenured team in place to drive outstanding results in the quarters and years to come.”
For the Fiscal Year 2012:
- Net sales, including the benefit of the 53rd week, increased 25.0% to $2,220.3 million from $1,776.2 million in fiscal 2011;
- Comparable store sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months) increased 8.8% compared to an increase of 10.9% in fiscal 2011;
- Gross profit increased 60 basis points to 35.3% from 34.7% in fiscal 2011;
- SG&A expense as a percentage of net sales decreased 110 basis points to 22.0% compared to 23.1% in fiscal 2011;
- Pre-opening expense increased to $14.8 million, compared to $10.0 million in fiscal 2011. Real estate activity for fiscal 2012 included 102 new stores, three relocations and 21 remodels compared to 61 new stores, two relocations and 17 remodeled stores in fiscal 2011;
- Operating income increased 42.7% to $280.0 million, or 12.6% of net sales, compared to $196.2 million, or 11.0% of net sales, in fiscal 2011;
- The tax rate was 38.3% compared to 38.5% for fiscal 2011;
- Net income increased 43.5% to $172.5 million compared to $120.3 million in fiscal 2011; and
- Income per diluted share increased 41.1% to $2.68 compared to $1.90 in fiscal 2011. Excluding the $0.05 earnings per share benefit of the 53 rd week, income per diluted share increased 38.4%.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Merchandise inventories at the end of the fourth quarter totaled $361.1 million, compared to $244.6 million at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, representing an increase of $116.5 million. Average inventory per store increased 20.5% compared to prior year. The increase in total inventory was primarily due to the 101 net new stores opened since January 28, 2012, but also includes incremental inventory related to the recently added prestige brand boutiques, as well as the planned fourth quarter strategic inventory investments in core product categories to ensure strong in-stock levels throughout the holiday season and into early 2013.