Strong sales growth performances produced record fiscal third-quarter and nine-month results for Ultimate Electronics.
For the three months to October 31 the Denver-based retailer reported a net of $2.01 million, up 61.1% from last year, as sales increased 18.9% to $94.5 million. For the nine-month period Ultimate had earnings of $3.77 million, as opposed to a year-earlier loss of $903,000, and sales, at $261.1 million, were up 17.9%. Same-store sales were up 19% for the quarter and 18% for the full period.
Citing an increase of TVs, DVD players and computers in its sales mix, Ultimate said its gross margin for the quarter dipped a half-point from last year to 30.2% of sales. But for the full period, it said, "increased sales in the higher margin core categories including audio, TV and mobile electronics, coupled with reduced sales of low margin computers," helped it lift its margin a full point to 30.1%.
Noting that Ultimate has turned in six consecutive quarters of year-over-year increases and has completed a successful secondary stock offering, CFO Alan Kessock said the 30-store chain has a strong balance sheet to support its expansion plan. That plan, he indicated, includes Ultimate's first Arizona store, which will open in the Phoenix area next year.