Tiffany & Co. reported record sales and earnings for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31. Net sales rose 13% to $1.67 billion, while net earnings increased 31% to $190.6 million.
Comparable-store sales rose 13% worldwide. In the U.S., Tiffany's retail sales rose 12% to $833 million while international retail sales rose 15% to $679 million. "Full year results in 2000 extended our record
of strong annual sales and earnings growth, although recent uncertainty
surrounding the economy and equity markets, not surprisingly, affected
customers' average spending levels," says Michael J. Kowalski, president
and CEO. "In light of expectations for continued unsettled economic
conditions in the coming months, as well as tough comparisons to last
year's strong first half, we believe it's prudent to expect earnings in
the first half of 2001 to be approximately equal to the prior year."
Tiffany bases its financial expectations on the assumption that U.S.
consumer confidence will improve in the second half of the year. Financial expectations for 2001 include net sales growth
in the high-single-digit range in the U.S., healthy growth in international markets, new store
openings in U.S. and international markets and healthy growth in Direct
Marketing sales. The company also expects modest improvements in gross
margin and its operating expense ratio, higher interest expense, an
unchanged tax rate and annual net earnings growth of 10%-15%.
- by Julia M. Duncan