Tiffany sees return to sales and profit growth this year

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Tiffany thinks 2017 is the year it will get its shine back.The New York-based high-end jeweler is forecasting a return to revenue and profit growth this year as sales show sign of stablising during its fiscal fourth quarter following four quarter of sharp declines.

Shares jumped more than 2.5 per cent in pre-market trading.

As expected, Tiffany saw net sales fall 3 per cent to $4bn for the 12 months ending January 31 after same-store sales, a key industry metric, dropped 5 per cent.

The retailer, famed for its iconic robin’s egg-blue box and costly baubles, has been hit by weak tourist spending, the strong dollar, as well as the drop off in foot traffic at its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York following Donald Trump’s election as president.

The Fifth Avenue store, which is located on the same street as Trump Tower and accounts for nearly 10 per cent of the company’s total sales, has been affected by the ramp up in road closures, security barricades and checkpoints around the block.

But in a sign that the worst could be over, Tiffany reported flat like-for-like sales during the fourth quarter, making it the first time in five quarters that the gauge did not fall.

“Despite macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges in the past year that we believe will continue in 2017, we strongly believe that Tiffany’s strategies are sound and that we have meaningful growth opportunities,” said Michael J. Kowalski, Tiffany’s board chairman and interim chief executive.

As a result, Tiffany said it expects worldwide net sales to increase by “low-single-digit” this year and net earnings per diluted share to rise by “a high-single-digit” over 2016′s earnings, which fell 1 per cent to $3.55.

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