Tiffany holiday sales increase 6 percent

Tiffany & Co. reported that net sales for the holiday period increased 6 percent over the same period in the previous year.

Total sales rose to $712 million in November and December, while worldwide same-store sales rose 3 percent.

On a constant-exchange-rate basis, which excludes the translation effect from changes in foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar, Tiffany said net holiday sales were up 9 percent and same-store sales rose 6 percent.

U.S. Retail sales increased 8% to $386 million, due to an increase in the average amount per transaction, the company said. Same-store sales rose 6 percent, due to an 8 percent increase in branch store sales and a 1 percent decline in New York flagship store sales. Four new stores opened in 2005 also contributed to sales growth.

International sales fell 1 percent to $241 million. However, on a constant-exchange-rate basis, sales rose 8 percent, due to a 7 percent increase in total retail sales in Japan and growth in most other markets. On the same basis, international comparable store sales increased 6 percent, including 7 percent growth in Japan, 11 percent growth in other Asia-Pacific markets, and Europe equal to the prior year.

Direct Marketing sales rose 14% to $63.6 million, due to substantial growth in Internet sales tied to increases in the number of orders and the average order size, the company said.

Other sales rose 14 percent to $21.5 million, primarily due to increased wholesale sales of diamonds. Six IRIDESSE stores, which focus exclusively on the pearl jewelry category, added to sales growth, while sales in LITTLE SWITZERLAND stores were approximately equal to the prior year.

“We were extremely pleased that holiday sales growth was broad-based geographically and in various jewelry categories. Diamond jewelry sales continued to be especially strong,” Michael J. Kowalski, Tiffany chairman and CEO, said in a statement.