Blue Nile First Quarter Sales Increased 34%

Blue Nile Inc., reported Monday that its first quarter net sales increased 34 percent to $67.9 million. During the quarter, operating income rose 38.3 percent to $3.7 million. Net income in the first quarter totaled $3.2 million compared to $2.4million in the same period of the prior year.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $33.7 million for the trailing twelve month period ended April 1, 2007, compared to $31.5 million for the trailing twelve month period ended April 2, 2006. Non-GAAP free cash flow increased to $32.2 million for the trailing twelve month period ended April 1, 2007, compared to $30 million for the trailing twelve month period ended April 2, 2006.

“Blue Nile had a terrific first quarter of 2007,” said Mark Vadon, chief executive officer of the Internet jewelry retailer. “We experienced tremendous growth in our business and generated substantial profitability. Our first quarter performance was driven by significant traction with consumers as a result of the appeal of the Blue Nile customer experience and value proposition.”

Added Diane Irvine, Blue Nile president and chief financial officer. “While all product categories were strong in the first quarter, we are particularly enthusiastic about the performance of jewelry at price points above $25,000. Our net sales in these price points rose 84 percent year over year in the first quarter, representing our fastest growth product category and reflecting the growing appeal of the Blue Nile brand.”

Other Financial Highlights:

* Gross profit for the first quarter of 2007 increased 28.1 percent to $13.2 million. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was 19.5 percent in the first quarter of 2007 compared to 20.4 percent in the first quarter of 2006.

* As a percentage of net sales, selling, general and administrative expense declined to 14.1 percent in the first quarter, from 15.1 percent in the first quarter of 2006. Selling, general and administrative expense for the first quarter of 2007 was $9.6 million, compared to $7.7 million in the first quarter of 2006.

* International sales, representing the company’s Canada and U.K. Web sites, totaled $2.6 million in the first quarter, an increase of 84.1 percent year over year.