New York – Tiffany & Co. had the difficult first quarter it expected, with sales dropping in almost every region and across all product categories.
In the Americas, same-store sales slid 10 percent (9 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis) in the first quarter ended April 30, and total sales were down 9 percent (8 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis) to $403 million.
Sales were down across the United States among both domestic customers and foreign tourists of all nationalities, Tiffany Vice President of Investor Relations Mark Aaron said on the company’s earnings call Wednesday morning.
Worldwide, Tiffany saw its net sales fall 7 percent from $962.4 million to $891.3 million. Same-store sales were down 9 percent. The jeweler saw sales slide in every region except Japan, where local customers drove an 8 percent gain in total sales and comps rose 12 percent.
While gross margin improved, it was not enough to offset the slow sales, and net earnings tumbled from $104.9 million to $87.5 million.
“Overall, these first quarter results generally represented a continuation of the softness in sales trends that we experienced in the latter part of 2015 and were largely what we expected,” Aaron said.
The company’s global same-store sales fell 5 percent in the fourth quarter, while third quarter comps were up only 1 percent.
In the first quarter 2016, sales were down across all product categories, though Aaron noted that bridal and fashion jewelry fared better than the jeweler’s higher-end collections.