Online jewelry retailer Blue Nile announced that its sales fell 4.8% to $150.0 million for the fourth quarter ended January 3. Q4 engagement net sales in the U.S. declined 7.7% to $78.4 million, while U.S. Q4 non-engagement net sales fell 0.3% to $48.7 million. "While sales were disappointing, we delivered an eight year high in EPS. Revenue growth was challenged by continued weakness from high ticket purchases and foreign currencies, as well as lower selling prices for our core engagement products," said Harvey Kanter, Blue Nile Chairman CEO and President. "In spite of these challenges," he added, "we sold a record number of engagement rings, expanded gross margin rate, and drove success in our new Webroom. As we look out on 2016, we will push harder on elements that are working: engagement ring units, wedding band attach rates, continued expansion of margin and the Webroom concept."
During the full fiscal year to January 3, net sales advanced 1.4% to $480.1 million and profit increased 8.3% to $10.5 million. U.S. engagement sales increased 1.3 percent to $269.9 million. Blue Nile also announced its first ever dividend - a special cash dividend is equal to $0.70 per share