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Tiffany Sees Silver Lining as Pandemic Sparks E-Commerce Sales

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A pandemic, an economic downturn and a deal gone awry appear to be no match for Tiffany  (TIF) - Get Free Report

The eggshell blue-branded retailer on Thursday said August and September sales and operating earnings came in better than expected as the luxury jeweller reopened stores and ramped up its online shopping experience.

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

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

The lawsuit follows 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.

In the meantime, e-commerce sales also continued to show strong growth, nearly doubling in the two-month period and representing 13% of total net sales year-to-date through September vs. 6% a year ago. 

The company also noted that “positive sales trends are continuing in October.”

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.

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