Tiffany & Co. says its worldwide sales grew by 12% in the fourth quarter to $1.1 billion, while net earnings from continuing operations rose 31% to $181.2 million, powered by healthy comparable-store growth, the launch of its yellow-diamond collection, and strong global demand. The results -- which include an increase in marketing spending -- varied by region, with sales in Asia-Pacific jumping 25% in the quarter, and in Japan, gaining 11%. European sales rose 14% and in the Americas, the company says sales advanced by 10%.
Japan's earthquake and tsunami resulted in closures and limited hours in that country, and Tiffany predicts Japanese sales will fall 15% in the first quarter as a result. But worldwide, it anticipates a 12% gain in sales for the first quarter, with annual sales growing 12 to 14%, fueled by 21 new store openings and an expanded marketing effort.