As the U.S. moves toward pre-Covid normalcy inclusive of larger gatherings and makeup, E.l.f. Beauty appears to be well-positioned for the road ahead.
On Wednesday, E.l.f. announced in its fourth-quarter and full fiscal 2021 results that net sales increased by 24% to $92.7 million in the quarter, marking its ninth consecutive quarter of growth. For the fiscal 2021 year, the company saw net sales increase by 12% to $318 million. Because of these wins, E.l.f. gained 100 basis points of market share in Nielsen U.S. color cosmetics rankings in fiscal 2021, making it the only top 5 U.S. color cosmetics brand to post growth and gain share
Tarang Amin, E.l.f. Beauty chairman and CEO, said the 24% sales increase for the quarter lapped the 16% increase it had done in the fourth quarter of 2020. “I’d say that our ability to continue to engage consumers in fresh ways and our innovation continue to be strong. We obviously are doing well, both online and with our retail partners. And in addition to that, we’ve benefited this quarter from the stimulus,” he said.
In fiscal first-quarter 2021 results, the company saw a similar bump from federal stimulus checks, but Amin emphasized that spikes in the most recent period were more significant. “By far, this was the largest round of stimulus from a consumer spending standpoint, and we certainly benefited. There were some weeks where we were up over 100% during that period, so I think it’s a perfect storm of the strength we’ve had plus [the] additional money, and then, consumers starting to get back into the category.”
Mandy Fields, E.l.f. Beauty CFO expects net sales growth of 8-10% on the top end in fiscal 2022.
Beyond the stimulus gains, Amin feels positive about makeup’s recovery. “I’m encouraged, as more consumers come back into the category as they go about their normal lives,” he said. “We’ve seen good innovation across the board, with Maybelline’s Sky High mascara, L’Oréal has a great new foundation, and NYX has a few great items now. Our Camo CC Cream that we launched earlier this year is our No. 1 item.” Amin emphasized that the complexion category remains strong for E.l.f., specifically, and that it’s well-suited for the more dramatic no-makeup makeup looks consumers are inching towards.
As normal life resumes, Amin expects to trade some of the company’s online gains for retail sales.
“The big difference is the number of people able to go back into retail, and the trends we’re seeing, particularly at Ulta Beauty, which have been particularly strong. This time last year, their stores were closed, so we definitely see strong indices across all three of our brands — not only E.l.f. Cosmetics, but obviously Keys Soulcare and W3ll People as part of [Ulta’s] Conscious Beauty. So I would expect to probably give back some of the gains we had online, but overall, trends will still be way stronger than they were a couple of years ago. Some part of that [online] migration is permanent. Consumers are used to shopping online and you’re going to see that accelerate, [even] while people get back into retail.”