Jeweller disappointed by global full-year results but growth forecast.
Tiffany & Co’s European sales rose 3% in the fourth quarter as countries in the region delivered a mixed performance.
Sales in Q4 hit US$146 million (£96.1m) in Europe, taking the full-year European sales to US$432 million (£284.4), up 3% year on year. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, total sales in Europe were up 3% and 7% in the quarter and full year.
Comparable store sales in Europe were unchanged in the quarter and rose 2% in the full year to January 31, 2012. In the full year Tiffany opened two own stores in Europe, one in France and the other in the Czech Republic, taking its total to 34 in the region.
Tiffany said that it plans to open three more European stores before the end of January. It also plans to carry out a refurbishment programme at some of its existing shops.
The positive European results came against a backdrop of worldwide net sales up 4% to US$1.2 billion (£790m) in the final quarter and net earnings up 1% to US$180 million (£118.5m). In the full year worldwide net sales increased 4% to US$3.8 billion (£2.5bn) while net earnings declined 5% to US$416 million (£273.9m).
Tiffany chairman and chief executive Michael Kowalski said: "These quarterly sales results were consistent with the holiday trends we had issued in early January. While financial results in fiscal 2012 were disappointing due to lower-than-expected sales growth and pressures on gross margin, we continued to maintain a longer-term focus on strengthening global awareness of the Tiffany & Co brand and on further developing compelling product offerings.
"We will be pursuing important growth opportunities in 2013, with plans including exciting new jewellery collections, enhanced customer communications through print and digital media, and expansion of our global base with additional stores. Tiffany is well positioned to achieve net earnings growth of 6% to 9% and healthy free cash flow."