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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tiffany Holiday Sales Up 4%, Comps Flat, at ‘Low-End Of Expectations’

Tiffany & Co. said Thursday that worldwide net sales increased 4 percent to $992 million for the November-December holiday period, while same store sales were unchanged from the prior year.

“Holiday period sales growth was at the low-end of our expectations, and we now expect that net earnings for the year ending January 31 will be at the lower-end of the forecast that we issued on November 29 of $3.20 – $3.40 per diluted share,” said Michael J. Kowalski, Tiffany chairman and CEO. “Due to uncertainty about general economic conditions in all our major markets, management is planning sales growth conservatively for 2013 and at this point expects net earnings growth of 6 percent – 9 percent.”

Net sales for the holiday period by region and category include:

Sales in the Americas region increased 3 percent to $516 million in the holiday period. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, total sales increased 2 percent, and same store sales declined 2 percent in the New York flagship store and in branch stores. Performance was relatively similar across much of the region. Internet and catalog sales rose 4 percent.

Sales in the Asia-Pacific region increased 13 percent to $187 million. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, total sales increased 11 percent (due to growth in Greater China and most other markets) and same store sales rose 7 percent.

In Japan, total sales declined 5 percent to $153 million. However, on a constant-exchange-rate basis, both total sales and comparable store sales rose 1 percent.

In Europe, sales increased 2 percent to $119 million due to mixed performances by country. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, total sales also increased 2 percent and same store sales were flat.

Other sales increased 114 percent to $17 million, largely reflecting the conversion in July of five Tiffany stores in the United Arab Emirates from independently-operated distribution to company-operated retail stores.

“Looking forward, we are formulating plans for continued store expansion and new product introductions in 2013,” Kowalski said.

Tiffany currently operates about 274 stores (115 in the Americas, 65 in Asia-Pacific, 55 in Japan, 34 in Europe and five in the U.A.E.), compared with 246 stores (102 in the Americas, 57 in Asia-Pacific, 55 in Japan and 32 in Europe) a year ago.

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