March 20 (Reuters) - Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co on Friday pointed to a significant hit to results this year as it temporarily closed stores around the world, and said it had lost about half of its operating days in mainland China since the coronavirus outbreak.
Tiffany earlier this week said it would temporarily close several stores, including its Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York, and reduce working hours at other outlets, to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The company, which is being bought by French luxury goods giant LVMH, warned that the outbreak has had a significant effect on its performance so far this year.
However, the first quarterly sales rise in a year in Asia-Pacific helped the company beat analysts' estimates for same-store sales for its fourth-quarter ended Jan. 31, just before the rapid spread of the virus stalled economic activity around the world.
Same-store sales, excluding the effects of currency exchange rates, rose 3% in the quarter, topping the average analyst estimate of a 2.01% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. It also beat estimates for profit.
Excluding items, Tiffany earned $1.80 per share, beating Wall Street expectations of $1.77.
The company did not provide a forecast for its current fiscal year, citing the pending $16.2 billion acquisition by LVMH. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)