Most continental countries show growth while UK drags down growth.
Tiffany & Co’s European sales were up 6% in Q3 although the UK gave a less satisfying performance with mainland sales offsetting “a modest decline in UK sales”.
Sales in Europe hit US$98 million (£61m) in Q3 and year-to-date European sales showed a 2% uplift to US$286 million (£178.2m). Tiffany said that most continental countries showed growth, but the UK was in decline.
On a constant-exchange-rate basis, total sales in Europe rose 11% in the quarter and 9% in the year to date; on that basis, comparable store sales rose 8% in the quarter, on top of a 6% increase last year, and rose 3% in the year to date.
Tiffany opened a store in Prague during the quarter , taking its number of European stores to 34. It opened 12 stores in total in the period in the US, Canada, China, Singapore and Japan.
Worldwide net sales at the jewellery group increased 4% to $853 million (£531.5m) in the quarter ending October 31. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales rose 5% and comparable store sales rose 1%.
Tiffany chairman and chief executive Michael Kowalski said: "Three months ago, we had anticipated that third quarter results would be affected by continued economic weakness in many markets as well as by challenging comparisons to last year when net sales were up 21% and net earnings had increased 52% excluding nonrecurring items. However, gross margin was weaker than we expected and Tiffany’s effective tax rate was higher than we expected. As a result, net earnings were below our expectations.
"We continue to maintain a cautious near-term outlook about global economic conditions. However, we expect to see improving results in this holiday season, partly benefiting from easing year-over-year sales comparisons, but also tied to the success of new Tiffany & Co stores we’ve added this year, new product introductions and more product-focused marketing communications."