Tiffany’s fourth-quarter profits rise 7.9%

Tiffany & Co. said Wednesday its profit rose 7.9% in the latest quarter, thanks to a solid increase in sales.

The upscale specialty retailer reported net income of $89.3 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, up from net of $82.7 million in the prior fourth quarter, The Associated Press reports. Sales grew 9.4% to $619 million from $565.8 million in the prior fourth quarter.

On a constant exchange-rate basis, worldwide sales at stores open a year, fell 1%, the AP reports. U.S. retail sales rose 3% to $298.4 million, and sales at Tiffany’s New York flagship store were up 1%.

For the 2003 fiscal year, which ended Jan. 31, Tiffany saw its net income increase 9.4% to $189.9 million from $173.6 million in the prior year, the AP reports. Sales for the year rose 6.2% to $1.71 billion from $1.61 billion in the prior year.

Tiffany said it has seen a “good start” to the new year, with Valentine’s Day sales proving “healthy,” the AP reports.