Tiffany Sales, Earnings Rise

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Luxury merchandise marketer Tiffany & Co., New York, sparkled yesterday when it announced that net sales in its first quarter ended April 30 increased 15 percent to $456.96 million.

On a constant-exchange-rate basis that excludes the effect of translating local-currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars, worldwide net sales rose 11 percent as comparable-store sales improved 9 percent.

Also, net earnings in the quarter climbed 12 percent to $40.31 million from $35.86 million in the prior year.

However, direct marketing sales declined 1 percent in the quarter to $36.9 million despite a combined 15 percent rise in e-commerce and catalog sales that resulted from a larger average order size and improved e-commerce orders. But business sales declined 24 percent, as expected, due to the year-over-year effect of the company's decision to discontinue service award program sales in 2003.


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