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Tiffany's 3Q net income up to 98.9 million dollars

Tiffany & Co. announced that its third-quarter earnings more than tripled, thanks to strong sales growth and a hefty gain on the sale and leaseback of its Tokyo flagship store.

It also raised its earnings guidance for the full year.

Net income climbed to $98.9 million (EUR67.11 million), or 71 cents per share, in the three months ended Oct. 31 from $29.1 million, or 21 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding a gain of 48 cents per share on the sale-leaseback of the company's Tokyo flagship store, 4 cents of which was contributed to the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, the retailer earned 23 cents per share in the latest period.

Sales increased 18 percent to $627.3 million (EUR425.63 million) from $531.8 million a year earlier, helped by a 9 percent rise in global sales at stores open at least one year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected profit of 25 cents per share on revenue of $616.2 million (EUR418.1 million).

"We are pleased with our overall businesses in the U.S. and internationally, as well as with product performance ranging from robust diamond jewelry sales to a healthy increase in silver jewelry sales," said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and chief executive. "We are now one month into the all-important November-December holiday season and are pleased with overall sales growth that is meeting our expectations."

Tiffany lifted its outlook for fiscal 2007 to a range of $2.25 (EUR1.53) to $2.30 (EUR1.56) per share, excluding charges and gains, from prior guidance of $2.22 to $2.27 per share.

Wall Street has predicted full-year profit of $2.29 (EUR1.55) per share.