Shine comes off Tiffany's sales

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The Independent Online

The New York-based jeweller Tiffany & Co lowered its annual sales and profit forecasts yesterday, citing slowing economic growth in many countries and weakness in its home market.

Rival Signet Jewelers also issued a disappointing forecast and posted first-quarter results that showed slowing growth in its US sales, particularly at its higher-end Jared chain.

Tiffany reported lower-than expected first-quarter earnings and said it now expects global net sales to be up 7 to 8 per cent for the year, compared with its earlier forecast for a 10 per cent gain.

Signet also reported signs of a slowdown, with US same-store sales up just 1.2 per cent in the quarter, against growth of 11 per cent a year ago. But its British sales, which account for one-fifth of company revenue, rose, continuing to improve despite a difficult retail environment.