November 7, 2007, 12:00 AM

Blue Nile comes on strong in the back half of the year

Online jeweler Blue Nile Inc. posted solid third quarter financials and expects overall web sales to approach $322 million for the full year. Q3 sales rose by 26.7%.

Online jeweler Blue Nile Inc. posted solid third quarter financials and expects overall web sales to approach $322 million for the full year.

In Q3 Blue Nile reported net sales of $67.4 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up 26.7% from $53.2 million in the prior third quarter. Net income for the quarter was $2.9 million, compared with $1.8 million in the third quarter of 2006, an increase of 61.1%.

“Our third quarter performance was excellent, with strong momentum in all product categories,” says CEO Mark Vadon. “Our results reflect the way in which the Blue Nile brand and experience resonate with our customers. We executed well across all areas of the business and generated exceptional profitability. Our international markets made tremendous progress during the quarter, with 105% year-over-year growth.”

For the first nine months of the year, Blue Nile reported net sales of $207.3 million, compared with $160.8 million for January through June in 2006. Net income rose by 35.6% to $9.9 million from $7.3 million in the prior year.

The company, No. 49 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, noted that international sales through its Canada and United Kingdom web sites totaled $4.5 million in the third quarter. Blue Nile recently relaunched its web sites for those countries to support local customer service, sales in local currencies and more products. The company also recently opened an office in Dublin, Ireland, to provide customer service for UK customers and serve as a base for further European expansion.

For Q4 and the full year, Blue Nile is forecasting revenue to range from $109 million to $115 million and from $316 million to $322 million, respectively.

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