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Tiffany & Co. reports strong Q4 profit

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New York City Tiffany & Co. reported that its fourth-quarter profit quadrupled due to rising sales, especially during the holidays.

The results indicate that luxury customers are starting to spend more as fears about the economy lessen.

The quarter that ended Jan. 31 produced more than half of Tiffany's fiscal 2009 profit. Tiffany earned more $140.4 million, compared with $31.1 million a year earlier.

Its revenue rose 17% to $981.4 million with growth in all regions. Sales rose 14% in the Americas, driven by a "substantial" increase in the number of transactions, said Mark Aaron, VP investor relations. Same-store sales rose 11%, helped by a 22% rise at its New York flagship store.

For the year, profit rose 20% to $264.8 million from $220 million, while revenue fell 5% to $2.71 billion, from $2.85 billion a year ago.

CEO Michael Kowalski said Tiffany has "begun the year with worldwide sales growth exceeding our first-quarter plan which calls for a high-teens percentage increase."

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