By  on May 16, 2005

NEW YORK — Tiffany & Co. reported a higher-than-anticipated 8.8 percent rise in first-quarter net profits spurred by strong sales in the U.S., which helped offset continued weakness in Japan.

In the three months ended April 30, the luxury retailer earned $40.1 million, or 27 cents a diluted share, versus $36.8 million, or 25 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Wall Street analysts had been expecting a profit of 24 cents in the latest quarter.

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