NEW YORK : Tiffany & Co's quarterly sales missed estimates as a slowing Chinese economy prompted Chinese tourists to spend less at the jeweler's stores in the United States and Hong Kong, a shortfall that sent the company shares down as much as 13 percent.

Investors were also disappointed by the 180-year old New York City headquartered company's failure to raise its full-year profit outlook ahead of the holiday season.

Weakening economic growth in China, against the backdrop of trade spat between Beijing and Washington has been a worry for luxury goods companies that rely on the country to boost sales.

Louis Vuiton owner LVMH said in October it had experienced a slight slow down in demand among its Chinese clientele, sparking a selloff in shares of luxury accessories retailers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tiffany shares were down 12.39 percent at $91.95 in pre-market trading.

Chief Executive Alessandro Bogliolo tried to reassure investors that while spending outside of China was down, sales in the country were robust.

''We can speculate on the reasons for the tourist spending outside of China but the reality is that the Tiffany brand is appealing to Chinese customers is evidenced by the continued strong sales growth in Mainland China in the quarter,'' he said on an investor call.

Typically, Bogliolo said, around a third of the total business is by Chinese nationals. The company does not break out separate sales figures.

In Asia-Pacific, total net sales rose 4% to $294 million in the third quarter, highlighted by strong sales growth in mainland China.

The company's comparable-store sales, excluding the impact of currency changes, rose 3%, while analysts on average were expecting a rise of 5.3 percent, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. [Reuters].


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