Tiffany profits rise showing strength of luxury sector

Women pose in front of Tiffany store
Image caption Sales jumped 23% at Tiffany's flagship store in New York, which attracts the tourists

Net profit at Tiffany & Co rose 25% in the first quarter in a sign that the luxury sector remains strong.

The upmarket jeweller announced a profit of $81.1m (£48.5m) for the three months to April, up from $64.4m a year earlier, and ahead of market forecasts.

Tiffany had previously said it expected sales in Japan to fall 15% during the quarter following the March earthquake and tsunami.

But while same-store sales in Japan fell in March, they rebounded in April.

Across the quarter, same-store sales fell 3% in the region, while total sales rose 7%.

The firm said all the stores that had closed due to the earthquake had since reopened.

Revenue grew in all regions, with net sales worldwide climbing 20% to $761m. Analysts had expected sales of $703m.

Looking ahead, the company said it had "exciting plans" this year. It intends to open 19 new stores, introduce new products and increase spending on marketing and advertising.

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