Tiffany beats expectations with 30% sales growth

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US retailer’s Asian sales leap by more than half

By Jo Young

Tiffany & Co has reported better than expected second quarter results, posting a net profit of $90m, up 33.1 per cent on last year’s $67.7m.

Boosted by consumers’ resurgent appetite for luxury goods, the company enjoyed improved sales across its global store network. The company reported overall net sales of $872.7m in the three months to July 31st, a 30 per cent increase on the same period last year. For the first half of the year, global net profit was up 30 per cent to $171.1m, on sales of $1.6bn, a 25 per cent jump from last time.

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The largest leap in Q2 sales came in the key Asia-Pacific region, where sales increased by a massive 55 per cent to $173.2m in the second quarter and 46 per cent to $340.5m in the first half. The company enjoyed growth in all its markets in the region, with China accounting for the sharpest increase.

North American sales rose by 25 per cent to $438.2m during the second quarter, and 22 per cent to $812.9m in the first half. Sales at the company’s flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York were particularly strong, up 33 per cent on a comparable store basis, which it attributed to a strong tourist demand.

Meanwhile, the company’s European sales experienced a similarly strong 32 per cent growth during the second quarter to $101.3m, and a 28 per cent growth to $187m in the first half.

Tiffany has now raised its full year expectations, predicting at least ‘high teens’ global sales growth during the remaining half of 2011. Asia is expected to remain its strongest growth area, with at least a 30 per cent sales increase predicted, while sales in Europe are expected to grow at least 20 per cent during the remainder of the year.

The company plans to open 17 new stores during the remainder of 2011, three of which will be in Europe, alongside eight in Asia, six in the Americas and a single new store in Japan.

"Despite continuing economic uncertainty, our strong first half performance gives us ample reason to remain confident about our prospects for the balance of the year. We are encouraged that total worldwide sales growth in the third quarter-to-date is continuing to exceed our expectations due to noteworthy strength in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Japan,” said chairman and chief executive Michael Kowalski in a statement.

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