Tiffany cuts profit outlook as higher tariffs weigh on market

A woman walks past a Tiffany & Co store at a shopping mall in Beijing on Nov 29, 2018. (Photo: IC)

NEW YORK - The US luxury jeweler company Tiffany & Co on Tuesday cut its profit outlook for the year, as higher tariffs will likely take a toll on its business.

In its quarterly earnings report released Tuesday, the company said it now expects its yearly worldwide net sales to increase by a low-single-digit percentage over the prior year and net earnings per diluted share to increase by a low-to-mid-single-digit percentage.

The company said the downgrading of the forecast could be attributed to a number of factors including a stronger US dollar and higher tariffs caused by the trade tensions between China and the United States.

The jewelry retailer however decided not to meaningfully increase retail prices in China for now.

The company's worldwide net sales in the first quarter declined 3 percent to $1 billion, and comparable sales, a key retail metric, declined 5 percent. The figures missed analysts' expectations.

It reported net earnings of $125 million in the first quarter ending April 30, 12 percent lower than the $142 million net earnings in the first quarter last year, and net earnings per diluted share of $1.03, declining from the prior-year quarter's $1.14.

"Our first quarter results reflect significant foreign exchange headwinds and dramatically lower worldwide spending attributed to foreign tourists," the company's CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said.