Tiffany Sales, Earnings Up in First Quarter

First-quarter net sales at upscale jewelry and gifts cataloger/retailer Tiffany & Co. rose 6%, to $539.2.million for the three months ended April 30, compared with $509.9 million for the first quarter of 2005. Net earnings increased 8%, to $43.1 million from $40 million last year.

As for Tiffany’s direct marketing unit, sales increased 4%, to $29.9 million. U.S. retail sales rose 2%, to $260.5 million, but comparable store sales declined 1%, resulting from a 7% drop in sales at the New York flagship store. International retail sales increased 13%, to $215.1 million.

CEO Michael J. Kowalski said in a statement: “We are very pleased with the geographically broad-based strength in our international stores and are encouraged with Tiffany’s results in Japan. U.S. retail sales results were disappointing, but it should be viewed relative to a strong 14% increase in last year’s first quarter.”