Tiffany & Co sales were hit by what CEO Alessando Bogliolo described as “dramatically lower worldwide spending attributed to foreign tourists” during the first quarter.
Globally, sales fell by 3 per cent in the three months to April 30, to US$1 billion and comparable sales fell by 5 per cent. “Significant foreign exchange headwinds” were also responsible for the result, with sales down a more modest 2 per cent on a constant-currency basis.
While not releasing breakdowns by country, Bogliolo said global sales attributed to local customers, led by sales in China, grew year on year. “We believe this growth in sales to local customers reflects progress in executing our strategic priorities, including innovations across products, communications and the customer experience, and that Tiffany is positioned for improving trends in the second half of 2019.”
Net earnings of $125 million were 12 per cent lower than the prior year’s $142 million.
Tiffany & Co sales in Asia-Pacific declined 1 per cent to $324 million and comparable sales declined 5 per cent due to the effect of foreign currency translation; on a constant-exchange-rate basis, total sales rose 3 per cent and comparable sales were unchanged.
“These results reflected a continuation of strong growth in Mainland China and mixed results in other markets,” the company said in a statement. “These sales results also reflected lower spending attributed to foreign tourists.”
In Japan, total net sales declined 4 per cent to $145 million and comparable sales declined 4 per cent, but on a constant-exchange-rate basis, total sales and comparable sales were equal to the prior year. These results were also affected by lower spending attributed to foreign tourists.
In Europe, total net Tiffany & Co sales declined 4 per cent to $102 million and comparable sales declined 7 per cent. In the Americas, total net sales declined 4 per cent to $406 million, and comparable sales declined 5 per cent.