Blue Nile sales rose 20 percent in 2005

Blue Nile, Inc. said Tuesday that net sales for 2005 totaled $203.2 million, a 20 percent increase over net sales of $169.2 million in the previous year. Net income for the year totaled $13.2 million, a 31.7 percent increase over 2004.

For the fourth quarter, the Seattle-based online retailer said net sales totaled $73.2 million, a 13.5 percent increase over net sales of $64.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2004. Net income in the period increased nearly 16 percent to $5.3 million

The company said it expects to post sales between $47 million and $49 million for the first quarter of 2006 and expects full-year 2006 net sales to be between $220 million and $245 million.

“2005 was also a great year for Blue Nile—strategically, operationally and financially,” said Mark Vadon, chief executive officer. “We strengthened our competitive position as the leader in online diamond and jewelry retailing and enhanced our exclusive supply chain relationships. We believe our obsessive focus on providing exceptional customer service and delivering strong profitability to our shareholders will continue to fuel our future growth.”