Tiffany Earnings Dip 2.3% for Q4; Catalog, Internet Earnings Up

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Tiffany & Co., New York, reported yesterday an earnings drop of 2.3 percent for the fiscal fourth quarter, according to reports.

The company recorded earnings of $82.74 million in the three months ended Jan. 31 compared with $84.67 million a year earlier. The results included a pretax impairment charge of $7.8 million related to its investment in a third-party Internet retailer.

Excluding the charge, net earnings for the quarter would have been $87.42 million.

Tiffany's direct marketing business rose 2 percent to $61.4 million in the fourth quarter and 3 percent to $160.7 million for the year. Combined catalog and Internet sales skyrocketed 30 percent in the quarter and 23 percent during the year.

Quarterly sales fell 2 percent to $565.7 million from $576.4 million in the year-ago period.

Tiffany recorded net earnings for the year of $173.6 million, down from $190.6 million a year ago. Sales amounted to $1.6 billion, down from $1.66 billion last year.

On a constant-exchange rate basis, which excludes the effect of translating local currency sales into dollars, worldwide net sales increased 2 percent in the fourth quarter and rose fractionally for 2001. Worldwide same-store sales fell 2 percent in the quarter and 4 percent for the year.

U.S. retail sales dropped 1 percent to $289.5 million in the fourth quarter and fell 6 percent to $786.8 million for the year. Same-store sales dropped 3 percent in the fourth quarter and 8 percent for the year. International retail sales totaled $214.8 million in the fourth quarter, down 4 percent from the previous year, while sales during the year amounted to $659 million, down 3 percent. On a constant-exchange rate basis, international sales increased 5 percent in the quarter and gained 7 percent during the year.

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