New York-based Tiffany & Co. says U.S. sales declined in the third quarter, contributing to a 1 percent profit decline. Still, the results topped its expectations, leading the luxury-goods retailer to raise its full-year forecasts.
For the third quarter that ended October 31, the company reported higher-than-expected net sales of $598 million, a 3 percent decline compared to last year, and net earnings from continuing operations of $0.34 per diluted share. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, which excludes the effect of translating foreign-currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars, worldwide net sales dropped 5 percent and comparable store sales were down 6 percent. Year-to-date net sales are $1.728 billion, or 14 percent below last year.
"We were pleased to see that the rate of sales declines in the U.S. lessened as the quarter progressed,” says Michael Kowalski, chairman and ceo. “At the same time, many countries in Asia-Pacific and Europe achieved considerably better-than-expected sales. These results, combined with ongoing expense restraint, contributed to earnings above our prior expectation."
On a regional perspective, Tiffany sales in the Americas were down 9 percent for the third quarter, while comparable U.S. store sales declined 10 percent. In the Asia-Pacific region, sales increased 10 percent with comparable store sales dropping 3 percent. European sales grew 12 percent in the third quarter and comparable store sales were up 9 percent.
The company operates 215 Tiffany & Co. stores and boutiques, including 90 in the Americas, 100 in Asia-Pacific and 25 in Europe.