Blue Nile sales up 5% to £310m in 2014 report

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International sales soar 10% to £52.4m in fiscal year ended Jan 4.

Online diamond jewellery retailer Blue Nile has released its financial results for Q4 (14 weeks) and its fiscal year ended January 4 2015 (53 weeks), citing positive yet “below expectation” growth.

Q4 sales increased 7.9% to $157.4m (£102.9m), while full year sales increased 5.2% across the company’s domestic and international markets to $473.5m (£309.7m).

Operating income for Q4 2014 totalled $6.9m (£4.5m), representing an operating margin of 4.4% of net sales compared to $7.2m (£4.7m) of operating income and 4.9% of operating margin for the fourth quarter of 2013.

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Net income for the fourth quarter 2014 reached $4.8m (£3.13m), or $0.41 (26p) per diluted share.

In the fiscal year ended January 4 2015, Blue Nile reported net sales of $473.5m (£309.7m), with operating income down to $14.2m (£9.2m) compared to $14.3m (£9.3m) for the same period in 2013.

Net income for the fiscal year was $9.7m (£6.3m).

Blue Nile chairman, chief executive officer and president Harvey Kanter, commented: “"Our fourth quarter growth continues the positive momentum from Q3 in spite of what was a challenging quarter for many jewelry retailers. While these results are below our expectations, the above-industry growth demonstrates that we made progress and gained share.

"We remain confident in the underlying strategy; more people are realizing that buying online – and at Blue Nile specifically – provides a superior selection and industry-leading quality at an unmatched price. It’s one of the reasons why that, despite a tough quarter for the industry, Blue Nile continued to grow."

The 53rd week of sales, ended January 4 2015, produced net sales of $5.9m (£3.85m) and contributed 4.1% of growth for the fourth quarter and 1.3% for the fiscal year.

International net sales for the fourth quarter were $23.6m (£15.4m), compared to $21.4m (£14m) for Q4 2013, an increase of 10.9%. Net sales for the fiscal year increased 10.8% to $81.1m (£53m), compared to $73.2m ($47.8m) for the fiscal year ended December 29 2013. 

Excluding the impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, international net sales increased 16.4% and 14.0% for Q4 and the financial year respectively, with sales for the additional 53rd week hitting $1.2m (£784,000) and contributing 5.8% of growth for the fourth quarter and 1.7% for the fiscal year.

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