& Co. reported that worldwide sales increased 4 percent year on
year to $992 million for the Christmas season, which included the months
of November and December 2012. However, comparable-store sales were
Sales in the Americas region rose 3 percent year on year to $516 million and on constant-exchange-rate basis sales increased 2 percent. Tiffany recorded a comparable-store sales decline of 2 percent for its New York flagship store and in branch stores. Internet and catalog sales rose 4 percent.
In the Asia-Pacific region, revenue increased 13 percent to $187 million and comparable-store sales jumped 7 percent, both increases were due to growth in Greater China. In Japan, total sales plunged 5 percent to $153 million, but same-store sales rose 1 percent.
Tiffany stores in Europe experienced a 2 percent increase in revenue at $119 million, however results were mixed by country and same-store sales were flat.
Revenue from other regions, increased 114 percent to $17 million, largely reflecting the conversion in July of five Tiffany & Co. stores in the United Arab Emirates from independently-operated distribution to company-operated retail stores.
Michael J. Kowalski, the chairman of Tiffany & Co., acknowledged that Christmas-season sales were at the ''low end'' of guidance and therefore Tiffany expects net earnings for the year ending on January 31 to be at the lower-end of the forecast in the range of $3.20 to $3.40 per diluted share.
''Looking forward, we are formulating plans for continued store expansion and new product introductions in 2013,'' Kowalski added. ''We will provide detailed financial guidance when we report our full year results in March but, due to uncertainty about general economic conditions in all our major markets, management is planning sales growth conservatively for 2013 and at this point expects net earnings growth of 6 percent to 9 percent.''
The Zale Corporation stated this morning that its Christmas-season same-store sales rose 2.3 percent year on year, while total revenue was flat at $567 million.
Zales branded stores, consisting of Zales Jewelers and Zales Outlet, posted a same-store sales increase of 3.1 percent year on year, while Gordon's Jewelers posted a comparable-store sales increase of 2.2 percent. Canada's fine jewelry brands, consisting of Peoples Jewellers and Mappins Jewellers, posted a comparable-store sales increase of 2.7 percent. Same-store sales at Piercing Pagoda rose 1.7 percent.
Zale's guidance for the second-fiscal quarter suggested gross margin to remain the same from one year ago at 50.5 percent with operating margin up approximately 7.5 percent, or 100 basis points higher than one year ago as a result of improved leverage on selling, general and administrative expenses.
For the fiscal year, Zale expects to achieve a profit, according to its statement.
"This Christmas season, we focused on driving bottom line improvement," said Theo Killion, Zale's chief executive. "Our comp performance, combined with an expected 100 basis point operating margin improvement, brings us closer to our goal of achieving positive net income for the fiscal year."