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Tiffany Profit Up 19% in 1Q Profit

BY CSA STAFF

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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Costco 3Q sales up 13%

BY CSA STAFF

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco Wholesale reported that net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 13% to $16.26 billion, from $14.34 billion during the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

The company reported that U.S. comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 6%. This increase reflects the recent rise in gas prices. Excluding this, Costco said U.S. comps would have increased 4%.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $295.1 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, compared to $224 million, or 49 cents per diluted share, during the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

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Sears Holdings posts 1Q loss

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings reported a net loss of $56 million, or 43 cents loss per diluted share, for the first quarter ended May 3, compared with net income of $223 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended May 5, 2007.

For the quarter, Sears Domestic’s comparable-store sales declined 9.8% while Kmart’s comparable-store sales declined 7.1%. Total domestic comparable-store sales declined 8.6%. Sears contributed the comps decline to increased competition and weakness in the general economy and housing market, as well as the impact on its customers of the increased costs of consumer staples such as food and gas.

“Our first quarter results reflect the difficult economic environment and intense competition for consumer business. That said, since May 3, 2008, our sales declines have moderated somewhat,” said Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim ceo and president. “As a result of actions we have taken and will continue to take to manage our costs, our current forecast for 2008 reflects higher EBITDA than we achieved last year. At the same time we are managing costs, we will continue to invest in our future by hiring talented leaders and improving our online and multi-channel capabilities.”

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