Ulta Beauty has announced financial results for the first quarter ended May 1, 2021. The US beauty retailer saw sales soar 65.9 percent versus the prior year period to hit US$1.9 billion, compared to US$1.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.

While in the equivalent period in 2020, the US was in lockdown with many stores shuttered, it’s still a notable rise on the same three months in 2019, where sales stood at US$1.743 billion. Ulta attributed the rise to improving consumer confidence in the US, government stimulus payments and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Profit also grew, reaching US$753,8 million versus the US$303.6 million racked up in the year-ago quarter. The US retailer also grew its square footage compared to the first quarter of 2020, ending the first quarter of fiscal 2021 with 1,290 stores.

Ulta has updated its FY21 outlook accordingly, and is now predicting a sales rise of 23 to 25 percent versus the 15 to 17 percent previously forecast.

 Mary Dillon, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The Ulta Beauty team delivered an outstanding start to the year, with sales and earnings exceeding fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2019 first quarter levels. I want to thank all our associates for their continued efforts to deliver great experiences and support our business in an environment that continues to be very dynamic.”

“We have emerged from 2020 with strong momentum in our sales trends, market share gains, and consumer sentiment,” said Dave Kimbell, President.