* Q4 EBITDA 534 million DKK vs average 537 mln forecast
* Q4 revenue 2.17 bln, above average 2.05 bln forecast
* Says sees 2013 rev of 7.2 bln, EBITDA margin above 25 pct
* Launches share buy-back of up to 700 mln DKK
* Shares rise 3.5 percent
(Adds comments, share price, details, background)
By Mette Fraende
COPENHAGEN, Feb 26 Danish jeweller Pandora
reported a rise in fourth-quarter earnings and
forecast higher revenue this year, marking the end of a
turbulent year as its strategy to return to affordable luxury
began to bear fruit.
Shares in the maker of charm bracelets jumped nearly 4
percent as analysts said they expected Pandora to exceed its own
2013 outlook during the year. Shares have dropped 30 percent
since Pandora went public in 2010.
"With this fourth quarter, the company is closing a horrible
chapter and opening a new and better one," said Sydbank analyst
"I expect that the guidance for 2013 will be significantly
exceeded," Lontoft said, joining other analysts who viewed the
company's outlook as conservative.
Pandora forecast this year's revenue to rise to 7.2 billion
crowns from 6.7 billion in 2012, below analysts' average
forecast of 7.4 billion crowns, and the EBITDA (earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margin to be above
The company, which manufactures in Thailand and sells mainly
in Europe and North America, had a glittering market debut in
October 2010 before running into difficulty when it said it had
priced itself away from its core clientele, to whom it aimed to
sell "affordable luxury".
It launched a strategy to realign its product mix after it
downgraded its outlook and sacked its CEO. The strategy was
bearing fruit, it said, with retailers' stocks improving.
Christmas sales had also helped to boost the results.
NEW PRODUCT MIX
"2012 was a year of re-setting the business," said Chief
Executive Bjorn Gulden, adding that its new product range was
well received. Gulden, who was appointed in December to lead the
turnaround, also denied a media report he had plans to take the
helm at German sportswear firm Puma.
"Pandora performed very well in the fourth quarter - our
most important quarter - led by particularly strong Christmas
sales across most important markets," Gulden said.
In February the company allowed retailers to swap unsold
stock for new and often lower-priced items in a bid to end the
decline in sales. It has estimated the stock return would cost
around 700-800 million crowns in 2012.
Fourth quarter EBITDA rose around 2 percent to 534 million
crowns ($94.57 million), slightly below forecasts in a Reuters
poll of analysts, who expected 537 million.
Revenue in the fourth quarter rose to 2.17 billion, slightly
U.S. sales climbed 6.3 percent while European sales saw a 24
percent rise, cushioning a decline in the Asia Pacific region of
"It is not just a company which expands through the opening
of new stores all the time. The existing stores managed to lift
their sales, and that is very positive," said Alm Brand analyst
"It shows that the turnaround is fully successful and that
we can now look forward," Christensen said.
Shares were 3.4 percent higher at 1109 GMT against a falling
benchmark index in Copenhagen. The stock rose as
high as 149.8 crowns, not far from an 18-month high of 149.9
crowns set on Monday.
Pandora said it would buy back shares of up to 700 million
crowns, appointing Nordea as lead manager for
Going forward, the Board would aim to maintain a stable and
then increasing nominal dividend per share, using the dividend
for 2011 of 5.50 crowns per share as the reference point, it
(Editing by David Cowell and Clelia Oziel)