NEW YORK — Improved costs and strong sales in China helped Tiffany & Co. earn a 16.3 percent rise in second-quarter income Tuesday. The New York-based jeweler’s shares fell 1 percent to $80.82, even though the company raised its full-year outlook. For the period ended July 31, net income totaled $106.8 million, or 83 cents a diluted share, compared with year-ago income of $91.8 million, or 72 cents a share. Quarterly sales expanded 4.4 percent to $925.9 million from $886.6 million in the prior-year period.Wall Street expected earnings per share of 74 cents on sales of $941.4 million. Tiffany attributed the strong financial results to robust growth in Asia, specifically in Greater China, as well as growing demand for statement and fine jewelry. Statement jewelry, which retails for more than $50,000, continued to outpace fashion jewelry in terms of sales, even though Tiffany said it has worked to improve its lower priced collections, which includes nongemstone baubles in silver, gold and Rubedo, its recently developed copper-centric alloy. On a call with analysts Tuesday, Tiffany vice president of investor relations Mark Aaron noted the brand is focusing on new fashion jewelry collections, such as the Ziegfeld collection in silver and freshwater pearls and onyx, as well as the brand’s “reinterpretation” of its Atlas line, which will make its debut Sept. 10.RELATED CONTENT: WWD Earnings Tracker >>Those collections, “along with others in the product development pipeline, are intended to generate improving fashion jewelry sales trends over the next year,” Aaron said. On the operational side, Tiffany chairman and chief executive officer Michael Kowalski credited diminishing product cost pressures to stronger quarterly results.Indeed, quarterly gross margins improved to 57.5 percent of sales compared with year-ago margin of 56.3 percent. “We were pleased with the results of our efforts to improve gross margin which, combined with well-controlled expenses, yielded a solid increase in operating margin,” the ceo said. “Looking forward, we are equally excited about the initiatives we are pursuing in product development, marketing communications and store expansion, all intended to further enhance Tiffany’s strong brand position and take fuller advantage of its long-term growth opportunities in the global luxury market.” By region, sales in the Americas increased 2 percent to $444 million, as comparable-store sales remained unchanged. In the Asia-Pacific region, sales jumped 20 percent to $208 million, as comps expanded 13 percent, propped up by strength in China. Impacted by the weaker translation of the Japanese yen, sales in Japan declined 14 percent to $136 million. But the jeweler said that on a constant-exchange-rate basis, sales rose 7 percent, as comps increased 8 percent, due partially to growth in the engagement and higher-end jewelry categories.In Europe, business improved, thanks to strength in the U.K., giving Tiffany an 11 percent sales jump to $111 million. Comps in Europe rose 7 percent. Other sales grew 33 percent to $26 million, reflecting the conversion of five Tiffany stores in the United Arab Emirates from independently-operated to company-operated, the brand said. For the year, Tiffany now anticipates EPS of between $3.50 and $3.60, up from its prior guidance of between $3.43 and $3.53. Analysts are looking for earnings of $3.53 a share.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)