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Tiffany's profit jumps in first quarter

31
May '08
Tiffany & Co. reported results for the three months (first quarter) ended April 30, 2008. Sales results benefited from strong growth in Asia-Pacific and Europe. Net earnings per diluted share surpassed management's expectation due to higher-than-expected sales and operating margin.

Worldwide first quarter net sales increased 12% to $668.1 million, versus $595.7 million in the prior year. On a constant-exchange-rate basis which excludes the effect of translating foreign-currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars (see attached “Non-GAAP Measures” schedule), net sales and comparable store sales rose 8% and 3%, respectively.

Net earnings from continuing operations rose 20% to $64.4 million in the first quarter, versus $53.8 million in the prior year. Net earnings from continuing operations per diluted share increased 28% to $0.50, versus $0.39 a year ago.

Segment reporting changed:
Effective with this first quarter, management has changed segment reporting to reflect operating results for the following regions: the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Prior year results have been revised to reflect this change. The Company has expanded its global reach and management has determined to assess performance on a region-by-region basis, rather than on a channel-of-distribution basis.

First quarter sales by region were as follows:
• Total sales in the Americas region (consisting of sales in the U.S., Canada and Latin/South America) increased 6% to $373.6 million, versus $353.3 million in the prior year, due to incremental sales from new stores. Comparable store sales in the U.S. were equal to the prior year, consisting of a 16% increase in Tiffany's New York flagship store (due to increased foreign tourist spending) and a 4% decline in branch store sales. Combined catalog and Internet sales in the U.S. increased 1%.


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