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Tiffany Reports Brighter Sales, Sees Positive Trends Continuing

Tiffany says its preliminary tally on August and September sales and operating earnings came in better than expected, despite ongoing pandemic-related challenges.

Tiffany  (TIF)  Thursday said its preliminary tally on August and September sales and operating earnings came in better than expected as the luxury jeweler reopened stores and ramped up its online shopping experience.

Tiffany said worldwide net sales for the two-month period declined slightly from same period a year ago, while operating earnings that include "transaction-related expenses" increased approximately 25%, with sales in mainland China remaining “extremely strong.”

E-commerce sales also continued to show strong growth, Tiffany said, nearly doubling in the two-month period and representing 13% of total net sales year-to-date through September. The company also noted that “positive sales trends are continuing in October.”

“While we still expect full-year results to be substantially impacted by Covid-19, we are very pleased with the way the business has rebounded following the first quarter and continues to rebound in the third quarter, especially in Mainland China, and to recover in the United States,” CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said in a statement.

Even in the U.S., Tiffany said it continues to see improvement, with sales declining “by a low double-digit percentage in the two-month period” relative to a year ago, with current sales trends pointing to further improvement in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Tiffany plunged in September after the famed jewelry company said it planned to sue French fashion giant LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton undefined over stalling and then reneging on its proposed $16 billion takeover offer.

The lawsuit followed several delays by LVMH to push back the deal amid the coronavirus pandemic and what LVMH has said have been difficulties in filing for antitrust clearance with European regulators.

Tiffany said its cash balance continued to be in excess of $1 billion as of the end of September, and is expected to be approximately $900 million at year-end, though that will likely be used to pay back deferred costs associated with the temporary shutdown of its flagship Fifth Avenue store and other deferred store openings and renovations.

Shares of Tiffany were up 0.55% at $119.67 in trading on Thursday.