Fiscal 2002 Proves Shiny for Tiffany

The economy may be tanking, but upscale jewelry and gifts marketer Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) ended fiscal 2002 on a bright note.

For the New York-based Tiffany’s fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, net sales were $619.0 million, up 9% from $565.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001. Net earnings increased 8%, to $89.3 million from $82.7 million. Net earnings in the prior year included an impairment charge of $0.03 per diluted share related to Tiffany’s investment in a third-party Internet retailer.

Direct marketing sales, which includes corporate sales, rose 13%, to $69.3 million. Combined Internet/catalog sales increased 21%, and Web sales alone grew more than 50%. In fact, Internet sales have surpassed catalog sales.

For the year ended Jan. 31, net sales were $1.7 billion, up 6% from $1.6 billion in 2001. Direct marketing sales increased 11%, to $179.2 million; combined Internet/catalog sales climbed 24%. Net earnings rose 9%, to $189.9 million from $173.6 million the previous year. Net earnings for fiscal 2002 include the effect of a nonrecurring tax benefit of $0.05 per share.