Tiffany & Co. saw its tourist business fall in the fourth quarter.
Net fourth-quarter profits jumped to $204.5 million from $61.9 million a year earlier, when tax code changes led to a $146 million charge to the bottom line. Net sales slipped slightly, to $1.32 billion from $1.33 billion.
The sales decline was generally consistent with the firm’s holiday results. Management attributed the decline to “softer demand by local customers and foreign tourists across most regions and product categories.” Comparable sales fell 1 percent.
For the full year, profits rose to $586.4 million from $370.1 million as sales rose to $4.44 billion from $4.17 billion.
Alessandro Bogliolo, chief executive officer, said, “Our team is proud of its accomplishments in 2018 that contributed to net sales surpassing levels not seen since 2014. Softer trends in the second half of the year reflected, in part, what we believe were external challenges and uncertainties.
“Most important, we are still in the early stages of a journey to achieve long-term sales, margin and earnings growth for this legendary brand, and are making progress across our six key strategic priorities,” he said.
Those priorities include amplifying an evolved brand message, renewing product offerings and delivering an exciting omnichannel customer experience.