Tiffany swings to Q4 loss on Swatch settlement; 13 new stores planned

New York – A $473 million charge resulting from arbitration with The Swatch Group in December 2013 resulted in Tiffany & Co. reporting a net loss of $104 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Tiffany reported net earnings of $180 million in the year-ago period.

During the quarter, Tiffany reported net sales of $1.3 billion, up 5% from $1.23 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 6%. During fiscal 2014, Tiffany plans to open 13 new global stores, including five in the Americas, and close four, including one in the Americas. Worldwide net sales are expected to rise by a high single-digit percentage.

In addition, Tiffany authorized the repurchase of up to $300 million of Tiffany’s common stock through open market transactions. Purchases are discretionary and will be made from time to time based on market conditions and the company’s liquidity needs. The program will expire on March 31, 2017.

During the full fiscal year, net earnings dropped 56% to $181.4 from $416.1 million. Net sales rose 5% to $4 billion from $3.8 billion and same-store sales improved 6%.

“We are proud of our performance this past year,” said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO of Tiffany. Sales and operating earnings (excluding the arbitration-related charge) rose to record levels. “Sales growth was led by fine and statement jewelry, new or expanded jewelry collections, and continuing strength in our iconic jewelry designs. Tiffany's marketing communications more effectively engaged global consumers wherever they shopped, our distribution network was expanded by 14 additional stores, and everywhere the store experience was enhanced by improved visual merchandising.”


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