Tiffany Profit Up 19% in 1Q Profit

New York City Tiffany & Co. reported Friday that strong growth in the Asia-Pacific and European markets helped its first-quarter profits rise 19% but said that it doesn't expect an improvement in the United States until later this year.

Tiffany said profits totaled $64.4 million in the three-month period ended April 30 compared with $54.08 million from the year before. Sales rose 12% to $668.15 million from $595.7 million in the year-ago period.

Total sales in the Americas region, which includes the United States, Canada and Latin and South America, rose 6% to $373.6 million from $353.3 million last year due to incremental sales from new stores.

Same-store sales rose 16% in Tiffany's New York flagship store due to increased foreign tourist spending, but same-store sales at branch stores fell 4%.

In a statement, Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO, said that the company is continuing to pursue important expansion opportunities in 2008 and expects to open about 24 stores across the United States, Asia-Pacific—other than Japan—and Europe, more than offsetting weakness in U.S. sales.

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