Tiffany boosted its profit 16 percent as it raised prices across all product categories. The luxury retailer also lifted its earnings forecast for the year. Fred Katayama reports.
Tiffany's earnings sparkled like its jewelry. Busy shopping by American, Chinese, and Australian consumers boosted the luxury retailer's quarterly profit 16 percent. Its highly profitable Atlas Collection of lower priced silver jewelry continued to draw shoppers. Tiffany also fattened its margins by hiking prices across all its product lines and regions. About the only weak spot: Japan. Sales fell sharply there because consumers stocked up in the previous quarter to avoid a hike in the consumption tax. But even there, Tiffany noted, the rate at which sales were declining slowed month by month. With margins expected to rise and more stores set to open, Tiffany is bullish about its prospects. It again lifted its profit forecast for the year. And it boosted its inventory in anticipation of fatter sales. Their actions run counter to a study by Bain that predicts sales of luxury goods will slow this year. Tiffany's stock spurted higher in early trading, adding to its 12-month gain of 25 percent.