Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Diamond and jewellery retailer Blue Nile posts record first quarter sales

Online diamond and je retailer Blue Nile, Inc. reported record first quarter sales, up 8.3 percent to $80.2 million.

The retailer said it expected second quarter net sales of $82.0 million to $84.5 million, and for fiscal year 2011 it forecasts net sales and diluted earnings per share to have double-digit growth compared to full year 2010.

Operating income for the quarter ending April 3 totaled $3.5 million, while net income totaled $2.4 million.

International sales grew 34.4 percent to $12.9 million, a record level for any first quarter in its history. Excluding the impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, international sales increased 28.1 percent.

Gross profit for the quarter totaled $16.9 million, an increase of 7.1 percent. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit was 21.1 percent compared to 21.3 percent for the first quarter of 2010.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the first quarter totaled $79.1 million compared to $47.2 million at the end of the first quarter 2010.

Chief Executive Officer Diane Irvine said: "We delivered record first quarter sales reflecting the strength of our consumer proposition and our relentless focus on perfecting the customer experience. We remain focused on our key objective of building our business in the U.S. and internationally by investing in growth initiatives from product innovation and marketing to continued enhancement of the Blue Nile experience."

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