Predicting a rocky first half in the U.S., Tiffany & Co. estimated earnings per diluted share for the fiscal year that began Feb. 1 would range from $2.50 to $2.55.

This compares with an estimated EPS of $2.25 to $2.28 for 2007, which excludes one-time items. The luxury jeweler and retailer also expects to drive sales growth of at least 10 percent this year, while opening 15 to 20 new stores, net of closings.

“Generally speaking, we are planning our U.S. businesses cautiously for the first half of 2008 while planning for continued healthy international sales growth throughout the year,” said chairman and chief executive officer Michael Kowalski.

On Thursday, Tiffany said it would open a 3,000-square-foot Patek Philippe salon on the mezzanine level of its Fifth Avenue flagship in New York. Patek Philippe is the only non-Tiffany branded merchandise sold in the store.

For more, see Monday’s issue of WWD.


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