Fresh marketing helps diamond retailer’s sales increase 19.8%.

American diamond and fine jewellery retailer Blue Nile announced its Q3 financial results yesterday, with its net sales up 19.8% to $89.8 million (£56m) for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012.

Harvey Kanter, Blue Nile’s president and chief executive, explained that investments in its marketing and a focus on new jewellery collections has helped the company to increase its sales.


“We are excited to report solid results in the third quarter, with accelerating revenue growth and expanding earnings per share. The execution of our strategy is clearly on track.

“Investments we made in marketing and pricing are working and building momentum behind the strength of our diamond engagement products. Sales of our non-engagement products also improved this quarter, and we are only beginning to launch an assortment of new jewellery aimed to further accelerate our growth.”

Blue Nile’s operating income for the quarter totalled $2.7 million, representing an operating margin of 3.0% of net sales. Net income totalled $1.7 million, or $0.14 per diluted share.

Highlights from the results outline that Blue Nile’s US engagement ring sales increased 31.5% in Q3 2012, to $21.8 million (£13.6m), compared to $19.4 million for the third quarter of 2011.

Its international net sales fell in Q3, totalling $13.9 million (£8.6m), compared to $14.4 million (£8.9m) for the third quarter 2011, a decrease of 3.3%. Excluding the impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, international net sales decreased 1.5%.

Gross profit for the third quarter totalled $16.9 million (£10.5m). As a percent of net sales, gross profit was 18.8% compared to 19.8% for the third quarter of 2011.

Blue Nile also reports growth in “new customers” – i.e. those who have not purchased from it previously – with a 22.4% increase in new shoppers in Q3 compared to the same period in Q3 last year.

Looking ahead, Blue Nile outlined its expectations for Q4, ending December 30 2012, forecasting that net sales will sit between $140 million and $153 million. Expectations for the fiscal year 2012, also ending December 30, outline net sales are expected to be between $404 million and $417 million.

"With continued steady execution of our strategy coupled with exciting product offerings for the holiday season, we believe we are well positioned to achieve our goals for 2012," Kanter added.