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Tiffany Reports Lower Holiday Sales; Trump Tower Commotion Partly to Blame

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Sales were “somewhat lower than we had anticipated.”

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) reported that its worldwide comparable store sales for the holiday period were down 2 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

Worldwide net sales for the two months ended Dec. 31 were $966 million, the company said. That represented a slight increase from $961 million a year ago, with sales growth in Asia-Pacific and Japan largely offset by lower sales in the Americas and Europe.

In the Americas, both total sales of $483 million and comparable store sales were 4 below below the prior year. A decline in U.S. sales was “exacerbated by a 14% decline at the Company’s Flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, which we attribute at least partly to post-election traffic disruptions,” the company said.”

Tiffany CEO Frederic Cumenal said holiday sales were “somewhat lower than we had anticipated,” but he said the company continues to benefit from “a favorable gross margin and prudent expense management.”

“Although we do not anticipate any significant improvement in 2017 to the macroeconomic challenges that we faced this year, we continue to focus on our initiatives to enhance our stores and our customers’ experience, and to add newness to our product assortment, while maintaining effective marketing communications and a well-developed supply chain,” Cumenal said.

For the quarter that ended Oct. 21, Tiffany had reported stronger-than-expected results, with earnings of 76 cents per share. Revenue, at $949.3 million, also beat the expectations of analysts, who had projected $922.6 million. Higher sales in China and Japan accounted for much of the increase, while net sales in the Americas fell 2 percent.

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The overall sales increase during that quarter was the first for Tiffany in two years. Bloomberg reported at the time that the results “signaled that the worst of the global luxury market’s downturn may be over.”

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