Tiffany Profits Up 29 Percent

Published by: Frank Galvano on 21st Mar 2011 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano
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Tiffany Profits Up 29 Percent

Tiffany & Co. released its fourth-quarter results Monday, posting a 29 percent increase in profits for the period as demand picked up in market from China to the UK driving its international sales higher than its US sales for the first time ever.  The luxury jeweler said its profits rose 29 percent in the quarter.

Shares of Tiffany, which had taken a 6 percent loss last week on fears of how the Japan tragedy would impact sales of luxury goods, rebounded after the report, climbing 7 percent in early trading, the biggest jump for the stock since May.  Investors were relieved that Tiffany's forecast for full-year profits beat Wall Street expectations even after the hit in Japan was figured in.  Japan accounts for 18 percent of Tiffany's sales and is its second-largest market after the US.

A spokesman for Tiffany said that demand has been strong for higher-priced diamond engagement rings and platinum and gold jewelry, while sales of items worth less than $500 has been down.  The company has also bee able to successfully raise retail prices to offset rising costs, a move most retailers have trying to accomplish without offending budget-conscious shoppers.

Tiffany operated 223 stores worldwide as of January 31st, 13 more than a year ago, and has plans to open another 21 stores in 2011.  In the Americas, a region that includes the US, Canada, and Latin/South America, Tiffany sales climbed 10 percent to $577 million for the three month period, while comparable store sales grew 8 percent.  Sales at the company's flagship New York location were up 2 percent.

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