Tiffany's Auckland Store

Tiffany & Co.’s third-quarter net profits sales gained, but the company is still taking a cautious stance.

Net earnings rose to $95.1 million, or 76 cents a diluted share, from $91 million, or 70 cents, a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended Oct. 31 increased 1.2 percent to $949.3 million from $938.2 million with a 2 percent decline in comparable-store sales.

“We are encouraged by some early signs of improvement in sales trends, but we clearly need more positive data over time before this can be considered an inflection point,” said Frederic Cumenal, chief executive officer. “In this recent quarter, we saw a smaller sales decline in the U.S. from earlier this year, while Asia-Pacific results reflected strong growth in mainland China and a relatively smaller decline in Hong Kong. Our business in Japan performed well which we attribute to spending by domestic consumers, but we believe the strengthening of the yen has negatively impacted purchases by Chinese consumers. We also saw relative strength in U.K. sales, but a continuation of softness on the European continent.”

The company maintained its sales outlook for the year, calling for a low-single-digit decline.

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