Tiffany & Co. reported a 19 percent jump in first-quarter earnings, buoyed by strength in the Asia-Pacific and in Europe, which offset weakness in the U.S.
For the three months ended April 30, earnings reached $64.4 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, from $54.1 million, or 39 cents, in last year's quarter. The results were 25 percent above analysts' expectations of earnings of 40 cents a share.
Total sales rose 12.2 percent to $668.1 million from $595.7 million, while same-store sales grew 3 percent.
Sales in the Americas region, which includes North and South America, rose 6 percent to $373.6 million, while comparable-store sales remained constant. Boosted by tourists taking advantage of the weak dollar against foreign currencies, the New York flagship saw a 16 percent increase in same-store sales.
In the Asia-Pacific region, which includes Japan and Asia-Pacific countries outside Japan and the Middle East, sales soared 21 percent to $222 million, while comps increased 4 percent. European sales rose 38 percent to $60.1 million and comps spiked 12 percent.
"While we have always said that Tiffany's business is not recession-proof, the increasingly global nature of our business is demonstrating the mitigating effect that it can have on an economic weakness in one particular region," said Mark Aaron, vice president of investor relations, in a call to Wall Street.
Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company is pursuing expansion opportunities this year and plans to open about 24 stores across the U.S., Asia-Pacific and Europe. The company also will introduce a new smaller store format in the U.S. later this year. Tiffany operated 192 units at the end of the first quarter.
Looking forward, Tiffany remains cautious and does not expect improvement in U.S. sales until later this year. The company said it remains on track to achieve full-year expectations, and raised full-year earnings guidance in the range of $2.80 to $2.90 a diluted share, from previous guidance of $2.75 to $2.85 a share. Sales are expected to be up 10 percent.
Shares of the company increased 2.7 percent to close at $49.03 on Friday.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast