Tiffany & Co reports “difficult” quarter as sales fall

Tiffany & Co has reported a “difficult” quarter as worldwide net sales fell 7% to $891m (£606m) in the first quarter of the year.

The fall in worldwide net sales reflected declines in all regions except Japan, which Tiffany attributed to a continuation of softness in spending by both local customers and foreign tourists.

For the first three months of the year ending April 30, 2016, the company also reported a 9% decline in comparable store sales

In Europe, total sales of $97m (£66m) were 9% lower than the same period last year, as comparable store sales also fell 15%.

On a constant-exchange-rate basis total sales and comparable store sales declined 7% and 14%, respectively, due to softness in most countries, led by France, which Tiffany attributed largely to lower foreign tourist spending.

Tiffany opened two company-operated stores in the first quarter (in Europe) and closed one location (in Japan). It now operates 308 stores, 43 of which are in Europe, across the globe – up from 298 stores a year ago.

Frederic Cumenal, CEO, said: “As expected, this was a difficult quarter in terms of both sales and earnings growth. We faced numerous challenges, including continued pressure from foreign tourist spending in Europe, the U.S.and Asia, particularly in Hong Kong.

“However, we are continuing to take actions that are intended to strengthen sales growth with local customers in the US and around the world.

“From a strategic perspective, we believe that our initiatives will enhance our ability to provide our customers with extraordinary products and experiences and ultimately contribute to improved financial results. We remain focused on generating sustainable long-term sales and earnings growth.”

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