Tiffany beats 2011 goals and plots 2012 expansion

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European sales up 17% but UK outperformed by Continental Europe.

Tiffany & Co’s European sales rose 17% to US$421 million (£265.3m) in the 12 months to January 31, although the UK was certainly not the jewel in the crown of the fiscal year.

The US jewellery brand said that sales growth in Continental Europe for the full year, and also in the final quarter, was “relatively stronger” than results in the UK.

Total European sales growth slowed towards the end of the year with a softer rise of 3% to US$142 million (£89.5m) in the final quarter. Like-for-like sales for the year rose 6% and the last quarter’s like-for-likes were up 2% on the year before.

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Worldwide, the group enjoyed a strong sales performance, beating the sales growth and earnings targets that it set itself at the beginning of 2011. However, Tiffany chairman and chief executive Michael Kowalski admitted that it had set its sights higher than the final figures and that it “concluded the year with softer-than-expected results”.

Tiffany & Co. Reported double-digit sales and earnings growth for the year with net sales up 18% to US$3.6 billion (£2.27bn) and net earnings rose 19% to US$439 million (£276.9m). Net earnings shot up 24%.

The jewellery brand, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2012, has plans to open 24 stores this year in “important markets”.

Kowalski said: "We are confident that Tiffany & Co. is better positioned than ever in terms of its increased physical presence and brand awareness around the world, and we are confident in Tiffany’s long-term, substantial growth potential.”

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