Net sales soared to over $2.3 billion for the quarter ending April 30, a 21 percent jump from last year’s $1.9 billion for the same period. Net income shot up to $331.4 million, compared to $230.3 million for the same period in 2021.
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On the company’s earnings call, chief executive officer Dave Kimbell added that fragrance, bath, hair care, makeup and skin care all grew double-digits year-over-year.
The retailer also raised its outlook for the 2022 fiscal year, and is now projecting between 6 percent and 8 percent year-on-year sales growth, to between $9.35 billion and $9.55 billion. Kimbell added that while inflation remained top-of-mind, he was encouraged by consumers’ “emotional connection to beauty.”
Makeup’s turnaround was also ahead of schedule. “Sales of makeup exceeded pre-pandemic levels. The makeup recovery is progressing faster than we expected,” he said. Category-wise, traction in foundation, concealers, eyeliner and lipstick drove the spike in interest.
Prestige makeup also outgrew mass makeup. To that end, Ulta introduced Chanel beauty products to over 100 more doors.
The retailer also launched celebrity beauty brands Fenty Beauty, R.e.m. Beauty and Treslùce Beauty in the quarter, founded by Rihanna, Ariana Grande and Becky G, respectively. Established brands Clinique, Lancôme, Nars, E.l.f. and NYX Professional Makeup also saw “strong” sales growth, per Kimbell.
The Ulta Beauty shopper isn’t turning their attention away from skin care, though. “Beauty enthusiasts are maintaining skin care routines with strong double-digit sales comparisons,” Kimbell said, saying that moisturizer, eye serum and acne serum categories kept the category’s performance up.
New brand introductions like Drunk Elephant and Fresh also “appealed” to consumers, he added, while Peter Thomas Roth and La Roche-Posay reaped the benefits of their social media buzz.
On the fragrance front, Ulta’s exclusive partnership with Billie Eilish’s new fragrance propelled sales, in addition to Gucci and Carolina Herrera.
In hair, both new products and Ulta’s core assortment tracked gains. Dyson’s AirWrap “continued to be a member favorite,” Kimbell said, also calling out Olaplex for high engagement.
Brands like Fekkai and IGK benefitted from successful backbar takeover events at Ulta’s in-store salons, while Pureology, Redken and Biolage also performed well. Services are also back in full, which in tandem with lifting pandemic restrictions, brought shoppers back to brick-and-mortar doors.
“Store traffic trends were strong,” Kimbell said. “Beauty services deepened consumer engagement and loyalty through connection. In the first quarter, our services delivered double-digit growth.”
Ulta also added 10 stores to its fleet, bringing its total door count to 1,318. It also opened 26 new Ulta Beauty at Target shops-in-shop.
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