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Global Slowdown Hasn’t Dented Our Growth: Tumi CEO

Tuesday, 7 Aug 2012 | 11:25 AM ET

The economic slowdown in China and the European debt crisis haven’t dented premium luggage and briefcase maker Tumi’s growth, CEO Jerome Griffith told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” after its better-than-expected second-quarter earnings announcement on Tuesday.

“Our retail business has been very good and our international business has been very good,” the Tumi chief said. “Since we have a small base, we see that we have the opportunity to continue to grow.”

While Tumi is in 70 countries around the world, Griffith said that being small will allow it to continue to grow despite any challenges for Asian and European consumers. Both businesses, “still continue to perform quite well,” he said.

There are growth opportunities in the U.S., Tumi’s largest market, as well, Griffith said. “We still feel we have the opportunity to at least double our store count there and grow this business,” he said.

Tumi is also diversifying its product line. “Where we started out as a luggage company, over the course of time we’ve really become a lifestyle brand,” Griffith noted. “Luggage today counts for less than 25 percent of all the units we sell. We’re selling more and more accessories. And we’ve expanded into other products categories like small leather goods and eyewear.”

Luxury Luggage Company Packs Q2 Earnings Beat
Jerome Griffith, Tumi CEO, discusses his company's big second quarter earnings result and where he sees further growth opportunities.

While some retail companies have had a hard time forecasting growth given the state of the global economy, Tumi raised its guidance for the year. The company forecast net sales of $390 million to $395 million, which assumes comparable same-store sales growth in the mid-to-high-single-digit range. Earnings per share are expected to be 50 cents to 53 cents.

For the second quarter, Tumi earned 18 cents per share, on revenue of $95.8 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of 13 cents per share, on revenue of $92.9 million.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com.

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