Nov. 26 - Tiffany's quarterly profit rose 50 percent as customers splurged on yellow diamonds, which could bode well for luxury retailers heading into this key shopping season. Fred Katayama reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~** **~ Sales of diamonds sparkled at Tiffany, especially its yellow diamond collection. That helped drive sales across all regions as profit rose 50 percent in the third quarter. Asia, which makes up a quarter of sales, was the star. Comparable sales were strong, especially in China. And Tiffany says Chinese and European tourists boosted business at its New York flagship store. Jewelry is a most discretionary item. Robust sales of diamonds and other fine jewelry reflect the dogged spending by rich consumers, and that could bode well for luxury retailers just ahead of the start of the holiday shopping season. Tiffany was able to boost prices earlier this year, and that has helped boost profitability. Tiffany raised its profit range forecast for the full year by about 4 percent. That excited investors, who drove the stock up sharply at the market open. Tiffany's shares are up 40 percent this year.