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US jeweller Tiffany & Co said the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow to its first-quarter performance, with same-store sales plummeting 44 per cent as a result of temporary shop closures.
Revenues were down 45 per cent to US$556 million for the three months through April as the company incurred a net loss of US$65 million from earnings of US$125 million in the previous year.
As of April 30, approximately 70 per cent of the company’s 324 stores around the world remained closed.
Despite a challenging first quarter, the jeweller said it is seeing signs of recovery in China.
“Tiffany’s best days remain in front of us because there is evidence that the strategic decisions we took to focus on our China domestic business, global e-commerce, and new product innovation are paying off – even against the backdrop of a global pandemic,” said Alessandro Bogliolo, CEO of Tiffany.
Tiffany’s retail sales in China were down about 85 per cent and 15 per cent in the first and second months of the quarter but recovered in April and May, with year-on-year sales climbing 30 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively.
Global ecommerce sales meanwhile rose 23 per cent, with the key markets of the US and United Kingdom recording increases. A new jewellery collection in rose gold and gold with diamonds is also contributing to growth, with sales as of end-May matching original projections despite the closure of some Tiffany stores.
Bogliolo likewise cited “progress” in the merger of Tiffany and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton amid reports that the French luxury conglomerate wants to push for a lower buying price.
“I am confident that Tiffany’s best days remain ahead of us and I am excited we will be taking that journey with LVMH by our side,” he noted.