Tiffany & Co. has recorded a 9 percent growth in worldwide net sales to US$895 million for the first quarter ended April 30, 2013. Worldwide same-store sales increased 4 percent year over year. Net earnings for the high-end jewelry retailer rose 3 percent to US$84 million.
Sales by Region
Sales in the in the Americas rose 6 percent year over year to US$408 million. Same-store sales rose 3 percent with relatively stronger growth in the company's New York flagship store.
In the Asia-Pacific region, sales increased 15 percent year over year to US$223 million. Same-store sales grew 9 percent.
The retailer's sales in Japan increased 2 percent during the first quarter to US$145 million despite a negative translation effect from a weakening yen. Same-store sales rose 3 percent. The company recorded a "particularly strong growth" in Tiffany's engagement and higher-end jewelry categories in the country during the period.
In Europe, total sales of US$93 million were 6 percent higher than last year due to sales growth across continental Europe. Same-store sales rose 4 percent.
Other sales tripled to US$27 million from US$9 million in the prior year, primarily reflecting the conversion in July 2012 of five Tiffany & Co. stores in the United Arab Emirates from independently-operated to company-operated.
During the first quarter, Tiffany opened one store, in Xi'an, China, and closed one in Taichung, Taiwan. As of April 30, 2013, the company operated 275 stores (115 in the Americas; 66 in Asia-Pacific; 55 in Japan; 34 in Europe; and five in the UAE), compared with 251 stores (105 in the Americas; 59 in Asia-Pacific 55 in Japan; and 32 in Europe) a year ago.
During the remainder of the year, the company says it plans to expand its global store base by adding a net of 14 company-operated stores (opening six in the Americas, seven in Asia-Pacific and three in Europe, and closing one each in Japan and Taiwan), as well as refurbishing a number of existing locations around the world.
"While first quarter sales and earnings exceeded our expectations, we are maintaining our earnings forecast for the full year, mindful of continuing soft sales results in the Americas and the negative translation effect of a weaker yen," says Michael J. Kowalski, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "However, we remain focused on exciting initiatives for this year, including jewelry introductions highlighted by our Great Gatsby and Ziegfeld collections, the Harmony engagement ring and a reinterpretation of our iconic Atlas collection." The company designed the jewelry for newly released Hollywood film, The Great Gatsby.
According to management forecasts, for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2014, worldwide net sales are expected to increase by a mid-single-digit percentage in U.S dollars. Net earnings in the second quarter are expected to be equal to the prior year based on an expected mid-single-digit sales increase, with earnings growth in the third and fourth quarters