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Tiffany Comparable store sales decline in Q4 2007
Mar '08
Tiffany & Co. reported that its net sales increased 15% in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2008 and rose 10% in the fourth quarter. Net earnings per diluted share from continuing operations excluding non-recurring items increased 22% to $2.33 in the year and increased 19% to $1.27 in the fourth quarter.

Net sales in the fiscal year increased 15% to $2,938,771,000. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, which excludes the effect of translating foreign-currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars, net sales increased 13% and worldwide comparable store sales increased 7%.

Net sales in the fourth quarter rose 10% to $1,053,157,000. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, net sales increased 7% due to incremental sales from newly-opened stores and a 1% increase in worldwide comparable store sales.

Net earnings in the fiscal year increased 20% to $303,772,000, or $2.20 per diluted share, compared with $253,927,000, or $1.80 per diluted share. Earnings in the current year were affected by several one-time items noted below.

Net earnings in the fourth quarter declined 16% to $118,250,000, or $0.89 per diluted share, from $140,499,000, or $1.02 per diluted share, in the prior year. Earnings in the current year were adversely affected by several one-time items noted below.

The following one-time items affected earnings in the quarter and/or the year:

(i) In the fourth quarter, the Company recorded a pre-tax charge of $19,212,000, or $0.09 per diluted share after tax, in cost of sales; this charge was for product obsolescence related to management's decision to discontinue certain watch models in anticipation of the start-up of its strategic alliance with The Swatch Group Ltd.

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