Tiffany & Co sees small increase in global Christmas sales

Tiffany & Co said its net worldwide sales during the holiday season rose a modest 4 percent to US$992 million, continuing a trend of modest gains in recent months.

Although the retailer maintained its full-year profit forecast of US$3.20-US$3.40 per share, it said that because its holiday sales growth was at the low end of its forecasts, earnings would likely be at the low end of the range.

And, due to uncertain general economic conditions in its major sales markets, Tiffany sees conservative sales growth for this year, with net earnings growth of 6-9 percent.

Sales at its famous Manhattan store, which accounts for almost nearly 10 percent of its total revenue, decreased by 2 percent. Sales in the Americas region climbed 3 percent to US$516 million in the holiday period. Internet and catalog sales climbed 4 percent.

Meanwhile, in Asia, excluding Japan, they jumped 11 percent, when stripping out the impact of currency fluctuations while comparable store sales rose 7 percent.

Sales fell 5 percent in Japan, but edged up one percent on a currency-neutral basis.

In Europe, there was a 2-percent rise in sales.

As of December 31, 2012, the company operated 274 stores, compared with 246 stores a year earlier.