Tiffany & Co has today reported its steepest drop in quarterly sales since the peak of the global financial crisis.

The fall came as a strong dollar discouraged tourists from buying its high-end jewellery and eroded revenue from markets outside the US. 

In the Americas region, Tiffany's sales at stores open more than a year plunged 10% in the first quarter. Analysts on average had expected a 9.1% decline.

The region accounted for nearly half of the company's total sales last year. 

Its chief executive Frederic Cumenal said the company also faced pressure from lower foreign tourist spending in Europe and Asia, particularly in Hong Kong. 

Slowing economic growth in China has hurt tourist traffic from mainland China to Hong Kong. 

Tiffany's same-store sales in the Asia Pacific region, its second biggest market, slumped 15%. 

Japan was the only bright spot for Tiffany in the quarter, with same-store sales rising 12%.

Tiffany today forecast a mid-single digit percentage fall in its full-year profit. The company had earlier said it expected earnings to stay flat or fall by up to mid-single digit in percentage terms. 

The company said its net income fell 16.6% to $87.5m, or 69 cents per share, in the three months to the end of April. Tiffany said it expected current-quarter profit to "decline by a similar rate". 

Net sales dropped 7.4% to $891.3m - the biggest fall since mid-2009 - missing the average analyst estimate of $915.1m, according to Thomson Reuters.