May 1, 2014, 11:16 AM

Blue Nile posts a 6.8% sales increase in Q1

The Top 500 online jewelry retailer also reports a small gain in global sales.

Lead Photo

The Blue Nile try-on counter at Nordstrom.

Net sales increased 6.8% year over year in the first quarter for online jeweler Blue Nile Inc. Blue Nile, No. 78 in the new Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, also reported a 1.9% increase in sales to consumers outside the United States.

“As we announce our financial performance, we remain steadfast in our execution of three key initiatives in 2014," says Harvey Kanter, president and CEO. “These include enhancing the user experience; developing our product lines in bridal and diamond jewelry, as well as fashion pieces through The Designer Collective; and expanding internationally by building our presence in China and growing our established markets. Through these initiatives, we continue on our quest to be nothing less than the worldwide leading retailer of bridal and fine jewelry.”

Blue Nile launched its e-commerce site in China in January 2013 and works with Chinese fashion e-retailer Xiu.com to distribute its jewelry items to other online marketplaces in China.

For the quarter ended March 30, Blue Nile reported:

• Net sales increased year over year 6.8% to $103.7 million from $97.1 million in the same period last year.

• Net income increased 31.4% to approximately $1.1 million from about $837,000 in the same period last year.

• Sales of engagement rings in the United States grew year over year 8.0% to $59.7 million from $55.3 million.

• Sales in other jewelry categories in the United States increased 7.8% to $26.1 million from $24.2 million in 2013.

• International sales grew year over year 1.9% to $17.9 million.

• Selling, general and administrative expenses hit $17.5 million, up 6.1% compared with $16.5 million in the same period in 2013. Those expenses include stock-based compensation of $1.1 million, the same as for the first quarter last year.

Blue Nile said that for the second quarter of 2014, which ends June 29, it expects net sales between $108 million and $113 million.

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