* Q3 sales, profit beat estimates
* Japan and China sales strong
* U.S. sales decline at slowest quarterly pace this year
* Shares rise as much as 7.3 pct
* Says Trump protests may affect current quarter (Adds details and background)
Nov 29 (Reuters) - Tiffany & Co reported its first rise in sales in eight quarters as more people shopped in its stores in Japan and China, and the upscale jeweler said sales in the United States declined at their slowest quarterly pace this year.
The company’s shares rose as much as 7.3 percent in early trading on Tuesday.
However, the luxury retailer - whose flagship store is next to the Trump Tower in New York - said it could not guarantee that sales in the current quarter would not be affected by protests and stepped-up security in the area since the election.
While traffic has slowed at Tiffany’s 5th Avenue store, it accounts for “less than 10 percent” of net sales, Tiffany said.
Amy Jones, a 22-year-old tourist from Liverpool, England, related to Reuters last week how she was able to buy a ring quickly from Tiffany because there were so few shoppers there, “probably because of all the madness surrounding Trump.”
Fifth Avenue hosts some of the biggest names in luxury retailing, including Gucci, Prada and Armani.
Tiffany said on Tuesday that its worldwide net sales rose 1.2 percent in the third quarter ended Oct. 31 as demand for fashion jewelry rose and stores in Japan performed strongly, helped by higher consumer spending and a strong yen.
The jeweler also said sales in China rose by “double-digits” while those in the United States, Canada and Latin America declined at the slowest pace in five quarters.
Sales at stores open at least a year fell 2 percent in the quarter. Analysts on average had expected a 2.8 percent decline, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.
Tiffany’s net income rose 4.5 percent to $95.1 million, or 76 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 67 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net sales increased 1.2 percent to $949.3 million, beating the average analysts’ estimate of $923.7 million.
Up to Monday’s close of $78.14, Tiffany’s shares had risen about 7 percent this year. (Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru and Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Martina D‘Couto and Ted Kerr)