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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blue Nile Reports Double-Digit Q4 and Full-Year Sales Increases


Blue Nile, Inc. said Thursday that year-over-year net sales increased 11.5 percent to $114.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. Operating income for the period, ended January 2, rose 11.8 percent to $9.2 million. Net income increased 13.6 percent to $6.2 million for the period.

For the full year, the online diamond and jewelry retailer said net sales increased 10.2 percent to $332.9 million. Operating income rose 10 percent to $21.3 million. Net income for the year increased 10.5 percent to $14.1 million.

“Blue Nile delivered excellent fourth quarter results, driven by the strongest holiday sales season in our history,” said Diane Irvine, CEO of the Seattle-based company. “As we look ahead in 2011, we are well positioned to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities that we see for our business in the U.S. and international markets.”

Financial highlights include the following:

* For the fourth quarter, international sales grew 30.8 percent to a record level $15.3 million. Excluding the impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, international sales increased 27.4 percent. For the full year, international sales totaled $43.3 million, a 30.4 percent increase compared to 2009 sales. Excluding foreign exchange rates, international sales increased 23.2 percent for the fiscal year.
      
* Gross profit for the fourth quarter totaled $25.3 million, which was an all-time quarterly record. As a percent of net sales, gross profit improved 30 basis points to 22 percent compared to 21.7 percent for the fourth quarter of 2009. Gross profit for the year totaled $71.9 million, which represents a record gross profit.

In its financial guidance for the first quarter of 2011, ending April 3, the company said it expects net sales to be between $76.0 million and $78.5 million. For fiscal 2011, it expects double-digit growth.

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