Despite warnings of slowing retail sales, Tiffany & Co. saw strong third quarter sales growth, with net earnings up 65% and net sales up 15%. For the three months ending Oct. 31, Tiffany had net sales of $369.7 million, up 15% from $322.7 in the same quarter last year. Net earnings reached $36.3 million, an increase of 65% from $22 million in 1999. For the nine months ending Oct. 31, net sales rose 20% to $1.1 million, and net earnings rose 73% to $105.9 million from the same period last year.
Tiffany's U.S. retail sales increased 13% to $181.7 million in the third quarter, with year-to-date sales up 19% from 1999 to $538.8 million. International retail sales rose 16% to $154.7 million in the third quarter, and year-to-date sales increased 22% to $455.4 million. The company's direct marketing sales, which includes corporate, catalog and Internet sales, were up 18% to $33.3 million for the quarter and 17% to $90.7 million for the year-to-date.
Zale Corp. also reported an increase in sales for its first quarter ending Oct. 31. Net sales increased to $366 million from $322.6 million in the same quarter last year. Total sales were up 13.4%, and comparable store sales increased 3.3%. Earnings before unusual items were $5.7 million compared to $5.5 million for the same quarter last year. After a charge related to the retirement of the chairman of the board, net earnings are $4.1 million for the quarter.
Mayor's Jewelers reported a net loss of $5 million for the 13 weeks ending Oct. 28, compared to a net loss of $5.4 million for the same period last year. Net sales increased to $35.9 million, up from $32.3 million during the same period last year. Net sales for the 39 weeks ending Oct. 28 were up 19.5% to $109.7 million, compared to $91.8 million for the same period last year.
- by Julia M. Duncan