February 13, 2007, 12:00 AM

Blue Nile reports sterling sales for 2006—and a new president

Online jeweler Blue Nile is reporting a 24% increase in sales for 2006, but net income declined by 1% due to a change in financial reporting. The company also promoted CFO Diane Irvine to president.

Blue Nile is reporting a 24% increase in sales for 2006, but net income declined by 1%.

For 2006, Blue Nile reported net income of $13.06 million on revenue of $251.6 million compared with net income of $13.15 million on sales of $203.2 million in 2005. In the fourth quarter, sales also rose by 23% while net income climbed by 7.5%.

For Q4, Blue Nile, No. 52 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, posted net income of $5.7 million on sales of $90.2 million vs. net income of $5.3 million on revenue of $73.2 million in Q4 2005.

A change in accounting procedures related to the reporting in expensing stock-based compensation accounted for the slight drop in full year net income, the company says.

"In 2006, Blue Nile delivered impressive financial results while improving its strategic positioning,” says Blue Nile CEO Mark Vadon. “We increased our share of the U.S. diamond engagement ring market, expanded our business into other types of fine jewelry and continued to build our international business. “

The company, which is anticipating sales of $290 million to $300 million in 2007, also promoted Diane Irvine to president. She will be responsible for the Blue Nile`s day-to-day operations and will continue to hold the position of chief financial officer until her successor is named, the company says.

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