Asia drives Tiffany & Co holiday season

Tiffany & Co says its global sales fell one per cent in the recent holiday season, despite a strong performance in Asia.

Total sales in the Asia-Pacific region on a constant-exchange-rate basis rose 10 per cent and comparable store sales increased six per cent, led by strong growth in China and Singapore. In US dollars, total sales increased seven per cent to $210 million.

But in Japan, total sales on a constant-exchange-rate basis fell three per cent and comparable store sales by eight per cent, which management attributes to weak economic conditions affecting consumer spending. In US dollars, total sales declined 16 per cent to $113 million.

Tiffany’s worldwide net sales in the two months to December 31 were US$1.02 billion. On a constant-exchange-rate basis which excludes the effect of translating foreign currency denominated sales into US dollars, worldwide net sales increased three per cent and comparable store sales equaled the prior year.

Chairman and CEO Michael J Kowalski said sales for the holiday period were disappointing overall, with significant variability in performance by region and by product category.

“In terms of regional performance, Asia-Pacific showed solid sales growth, sales in Japan continued to be weak, European sales rose nicely in local currencies and sales in the Americas declined slightly after a very strong start to the year.”

As at December 31, Tiffany operated 296 stores: 123 in the Americas, 73 in Asia-Pacific, 56 in Japan, 38 in Europe, five in the United Arab Emirates and one in Russia. In the last year it has opened four in Asia-Pacific and two in Japan.

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