COPENHAGEN, March 19 (Reuters) - The growth opportunities for Danish jewellery maker Pandora are huge with avenues of expansion open across a wide swath of emerging markets, its retiring chairman Marcello Bottoli said on Wednesday.
Known for its charm bracelets, the company had strong market debut in 2010 but quickly ran into trouble after a move into more expensive jewellery alienated core customers who were after “affordable luxury”.
“The opportunities for growth are enormous, there are more things we can do than we can handle, so the issue is not finding opportunities for growth,” Marcello Bottoli, former chief executive of Louis Vuitton and Samsonite, told Reuters at the company’s annual general meeting.
“Pandora is in better shape than ever before,” he added.
Bottoli, who will be standing down when his successor is found, pointed at Asia and Latin America as places where Pandora had only “scratched the surface”.
“There’s tons of opportunities there, but even close to home, Italy is the largest market for jewellery in Europe, we’ve been present (there) only three years,” he said.
Pandora in 2011 brought in Bottoli, who was chairman at the time, as interim chief executive after former CEO Mikkel Olesen was sacked following a sharp decline in sales.
Bottoli led the company for a key seven months and succeeded in reviving sales by realigning the product mix and returning to a focus on less expensive items. Pandora shares rose 136 percent last year and have gained a further 21 percent so far in 2014.
Pandora, which manufactures in Thailand and sells mainly in Europe and North America and is worth more than 45 billion Danish crowns ($8.39 billion), is now in the process of finding a new chairman, Bottoli said.
“It doesn’t matter where he or she comes from, what matters for us is that it has to be someone who has the right international experience in luxury goods, who is able to be the right sparring partner for the CEO in running the company.” ($1 = 5.3649 Danish Crowns) (Additional reporting by Annabella Nielsen; editing by Niklas Pollard)