Falling tourist demand hit Tiffany’s U.S. performance in the first quarter, director of investor relations Mark Aaron said in a conference call following the release of its financial results.
Aaron called U.S. demand “geographically mixed but generally soft.”
The company said it was pleased with fashion jewelry sales, in particular sales of silver jewelry, led by its Return to Tiffany and 1837 collections. Designer jewelry also did well: Aaron singled out its Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso collections as strong sellers. But engagement jewelry and wedding bands underperformed, and the fine and solitaire jewelry category was mixed, though its Victoria Collection performed well. Sales of its new watch line are also encouraging, Aaron said.
Other highlights of Tiffany’s financial result for the first quarter of 2017 (ended April 30):
– Worldwide net sales rose 1 percent to $900 million. The company credited the sales increase to better demand from Asia-Pacific and a jump in wholesale diamond sales.
– Comp sales fell 3 percent from the prior year. On a constant currency basis, worldwide net sales increased 2 percent, while comps fell 2 percent.
– Net earnings hit $93 million, up from last year’s $87 million.
“While these results modestly exceeded our near-term expectations, we are focused on executing long-term strategies to achieve stronger and sustainable performance through product introductions, optimization of our store base, effective marketing communications and the delivery of experiences that resonate with our customers,” interim CEO and chairman Michael J. Kowolski said in a statement.