May 7, 2008, 12:00 AM

Sales rise, but net income falls for Blue Nile in the first quarter

In Q1 web sales rose by 3.8% for online jeweler Blue Nile while net income declined by 18.8%. International sales reached $5.7 million in the first quarter, up 119.2% from $2.6 million in Q1 of 2007.

Online jeweler Blue Nile Inc. is reporting slightly higher sales, but less net income for the first quarter ended March 30.

In Q1 web sales rose by 3.8% to $70.5 million from $67.9 million in the prior year, while net income declined by 18.8% to $2.6 million from $3.2 million in the first quarter of 2007.

“We are pleased to have delivered financial results that exceeded our expectations, particularly in light of the weak consumer environment in the U.S.,” says Blue Nile CEO Diane Irvine. “In this uncertain environment, we are keenly focused on enhancing the Blue Nile customer experience and vigorously managing our costs.”

The company, No. 48 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, continues to grow its overseas sales. International sales reached $5.7 million in the first quarter, up 119.2% from $2.6 million in Q1 of 2007. “Our international business continued its rapid growth during the quarter, and we are pleased with the early results of our recent launches into 25 new countries,” Irvine says.

Blue Nile expects second quarter sales to grow by up to 5% to about $63 million compared to the prior year, and full-year sales to grow by up to 10% to about $351 million.

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