Financial Reports: Tiffany, Gaiam

Weak Japanese Sales Hurt Tiffany
Although New York-based Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) reported gains in annual sales and earnings, the cataloger/retailer did not meet objectives set at the beginning of the year.

“Although we achieved strong comparable store and total sales growth in the U.S. and certain international markets, we did not achieve the sales results we were looking for in Japan,” Michael Kowalski, chairman/CEO of the upscale jeweler, said in a statement.

Fourth-quarter sales increased 11%, to $810.1 million. Net sales for the year climbed 10%, to $2.2 billion. The quarter and fiscal 2004 ended Jan. 31.

Quarterly net earnings increased 96%, to $217.0 million. For the year, earnings reached $304.3 million, a 41% increase.

Direct marketing sales, which include corporate sales, increased 6% for the fourth quarter, to $81.4 million. They fell 1% for the year, however, to $195.5 million. Combined Internet and catalog sales increased 10% for the quarter and 7% for the year due to growth in the average order size. But corporate sales declined 4% for the quarter and 17% for the year.

Annual Loss Widens at Gaiam
Broomfield, CO-based “healthy living” manufacturer/marketer Gaiam (Nasdaq: GAIA) posted losses for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31.

For the year, the parent company of the Real Goods, Harmony, and Living Arts catalogs lost $4.6 million. For 2003 it had lost only $972,000. Revenue fell 5%, to $96.7 million.

Fourth-quarter revenue slipped just slightly, to $34.8 million from $35.1 million the previous year. The net loss for the fourth quarter totaled $564,000, compared with net income of $341,000 in 2003.

On the bright side, Gaiam’s direct-to-consumer segment, which includes the catalogs, delivered 14% growth. The segment now accounts for 54% of the company’s revenue.

Gaiam blames its declines on its wholesale segment, in particular declining sales and increased returns of its VHS products.

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