Key Beauty Categories Drive Ulta Q1 Sales

A strong start to 2021 has also led the retailer to raise revenue guidance for the remainder of its fiscal year.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Ulta Storefront

Consumers' continued engagement with the beauty category was cited as a key factor for the strong quarterly sales growth at Ulta.

For the first quarter ended April 30, net sales increased 21% to $2.3 billion. Comparable store sales increased 18%, driven by a 10% increase in transactions and a 7.3% increase in average ticket. Gross profit increased to $941 million compared to $753.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Diluted earnings per share increased to $6.30.

“Consumers continue to be highly engaged with the beauty category, as they participate in more in-person activities, engage in more travel and lean into experiential spending,” said David Kimbell, Ulta CEO. ”While macroeconomic pressures, such as rising inflation are top of mind for consumers, their resilience and emotional connection to beauty continues to drive the recovery of the category.”

During an investor conference call to announce first quarter results, Kimbell noted that several categories including fragrance and bath, hair care, makeup and skin care each delivered double-digit growth when compared to the first quarter of 2021.

“Sales of makeup exceeded pre-pandemic levels in both mass and prestige cosmetics,” he said. “The makeup recovery is progressing faster than we expected coming into this year.”

The strong start to 2022 also led Ulta to restate its guidance. The company now expects annual net sales of between $9.35 billion and $9.55 billion, up from previous guidance of $9.05 billion to $9.15 billion. Comparable store sales are expected to grow between 6% and 8%.