Blue Nile Fourth Quarter Net Sales Up 24%, New President Named

Blue Nile on Monday reported fourth quarter net sales of $90.7 million, compared to net sales of $73.2 million for the same period of the prior year, an increase of 23.9 percent.

For the fiscal year, ended Dec. 31, 2006, the Seattle-based Internet jewelry retailer reported net sales of $251.6 million, compared to net sales of $203.2 million in the prior year, an increase of 23.8 percent.

“Blue Nile had an excellent fourth quarter, posting results that balance strong growth and profitability,” said Mark Vadon, Blue Nile chairman and chief executive officer. “In 2006, Blue Nile delivered impressive financial results while improving its strategic positioning. We increased our share of the U.S. diamond engagement ring market, expanded our business into other types of fine jewelry, and continued to build our international business. We accomplished all of this while generating strong profitability and cash flow. Entering 2007, we are well positioned to fulfill the long-term potential of our business model.”

Blue Nile said that net sales for fiscal year 2007 (ending Dec. 30) are expected to be between $290 million and $300 million.

In a related matter, Blue Nile’s board of directors promoted Diane Irvine to president. She will be responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations and will continue to hold the position of chief financial officer until her successor is named. Vadon will remain focused on the strategic direction and growth initiatives of the business that will enhance shareholder value over the long term.