By Michelle Graff
New York-- Despite positive performances in Canada and Latin America, Tiffany & Co. reported Wednesday that global comps for the company fell slightly in the first quarter.

The New York-based retailer’s same-store sales in the Americas rose 1 percent year-over-year in the first quarter ended April 30. Total sales for the region were up 3 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis, reaching $444 million in the three-month period.

Lower foreign tourist spending in the United States was offset by the strength of the dollar as well as strong performances in Canada and Latin America. 

Globally, however, same-store sales were down 1 percent while total sales were up 1 percent, driven by growth in all regions except Japan as well as strength in gold fashion jewelry and statement jewelry, Tiffany said. 

Worldwide net sales hit $962.4 million in the first quarter.

CEO Frederic Cumenal said Wednesday the company has a cautious outlook for the rest of the year in light of “global economic uncertainties.”  

“Our plans this year include expanding existing jewelry collections with new designs and opening stores in a number of important markets, all intended to further enhance Tiffany’s position as a leading global luxury brand,” he said. “Despite these plans and the better-than-expected first quarter results, our forecast for minimal earnings growth for the full year continues to reflect caution regarding our expectations for fiscal 2015 in light of the strong dollar and other global economic uncertainties.”

Europe pulled out a strong performance for Tiffany in the first quarter with comps up 17 percent and total sales increasing 21 percent on growth across Europe from strong tourist spending and higher spending to local customers. 

Same-store sales increased 2 percent in the Asia-Pacific region while total sales up 4 percent, with sales declines in Hong Kong and Macau offset by strong performances in China, Australia and Singapore.

Japan’s same-store sales plummeted 24 percent in the first period as total sales fell 18 percent, reflecting a difficult comparison to the same period last year, Tiffany said, when comps surged upward by 30 percent on consumer demand prior to an increase in the country’s consumption tax in April 2014.

Tiffany opened three company-operated stores in the first quarter--two in China (Shanghai and Hangzhou) and one in Miami. 

As of April 30, Tiffany operated a total of 298 stores, 123 of which are in the Americas, versus 292 a year earlier, 121 in the Americas.

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