BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (AP) — Ulta Beauty said Friday that its overall holiday sales increased 23.2 percent over the prior year as shoppers bought more high-end skincare and cosmetics. Another closely-watched retail revenue metric rose just over 7 percent.
It also reaffirmed its fiscal fourth-quarter outlook that it first announced in November, but that was at the low end of market expectations. Its shares fell 5 percent in midday trading.
The beauty products retailer formally known as Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. said that its revenue for the seven-week period that ended Dec. 29 rose to $475.6 million from $386.0 million a year earlier.
Ulta said that revenue from its stores open at least a year increased 7.4 percent for the holiday period following a 12.6 percent increase last year. This comparison is considered a good indicator of a retailer's financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.
"We were pleased with our holiday sales performance given the numerous national news events that appeared to have curtailed customer purchasing behavior across most of retail," Ulta President and CEO Chuck Rubin said.