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Ulta posts Q4 results, announces Barkus' departure

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. Ulta announced on Wednesday its fourth-quarter and fiscal year 2007 results, as well as the departure of chief operating officer and assistant secretary Bruce Barkus.

Effective March 21, Barkus is leaving the beauty retailer. Members of the existing executive team will assume his responsibilities. There are no near-term plans to fill his position.

The news came as Ulta posted its financial results. For the fourth quarter, net sales increased 15.9 percent to $309.3 million from $267 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 4.5 percent.

Net income for the quarter ended Feb. 3 rose 40.8 percent to $13.6 million compared with $9.7 million in the year-ago period. Operating income rose 47.1 percent to $23.9 million compared with $16.3 million in the year-ago period.

For the fiscal year, net sales rose 20.8 percent to $912.1 million. Same-store sales increased 6.4 percent.

Net income for the fiscal year totaled $25.3 million compared with $22.5 million last year. Operating income was $46.7 million compared with $40.1 million in fiscal 2006.

For the full year fiscal 2008, Ulta estimates net sales to range between $1.12 billion to $1.14 billion. Same-store sales are expected to increase by 3 percent to 5 percent.

Income per diluted share is estimated to range between 52 cents and 57 cents, which represents net income growth of 25 percent to 38 percent compared with fiscal 2007.

Ulta ended the fourth quarter with 249 stores. In fiscal 2008, the company expects to open about 63 new stores and remodel eight locations.

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