* Q1 EBITDA 937 mln DKK vs 814 mln average forecast
* Raises 2014 revenue outlook
* Shares hit all-time high
(Adds details, shares, quotes)
By Shida Chayesteh
COPENHAGEN, May 13 Danish jeweller Pandora
raised its annual revenue forecast after quarterly
results beat analysts' estimates, providing further evidence its
turnaround plan is working and sending its shares to an all-time
Pandora, best known for its charm bracelets, had a strong
market debut in late 2010 but ran into difficulty after a move
into more expensive jewellery alienated its core customers who
wanted "affordable luxury". Within a year, its shares had
dropped 80 percent and it had sacked its then chief executive.
In 2012, it launched a new strategy in a bid to stem a
decline in sales, shifting away from more costly products and
allowing retailers to swap unsold stock for lower-priced items.
The unsold jewellery was melted down and crafted into new
Pandora on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 937
million Danish crowns ($172.7 million) - up about 46 percent
year-on-year and above an average forecast of 814 million in a
Reuters poll of analysts.
Revenue rose about 29 percent to 2.59 billion crowns,
beating the average forecast of 2.32 billion.
The results were further evidence that its strategy shift
was paying off, after sales rose by a third in 2013 to about 9
It raised its expectations for 2014 revenue to more than
10.5 billion crowns, from a previous forecast of more than 10.0
billion crowns made in January. It stuck with its prediction of
an EBITDA margin of around 35 percent.
Pandora shares reached an all-time high of 396.70 crowns on
Tuesday and were up 7.8 percent at 391 crowns at 1307 GMT.
The firm's shares are up 33 percent this year, outpacing the
main Copenhagen blue chip index which is up 15
"Like-for-like growth (in the first quarter) was very strong
for all the main geographies despite tough comparisons, which
confirms our view of a strong start to the year," Nordea senior
analyst Dan Wejse said in a note to clients.
The United States is Pandora's biggest market, accounting
for more than a third of revenue last year, according to Thomson
Reuters data, followed by Britain and Australia.
The company says it has about 10,000 "points of sale" - as
well as selling through other retailers, it has more than 1,000
concept stores globally, where only Pandora jewellery is sold.
Wejse said revenue growth was boosted by Pandora's concept
stores, which accounted for 51 percent of total revenue in the
first quarter, up from 44 percent a year ago.
Chief Executive Allan Leighton said sales were also helped
by a good reception for new collections and revenue growth would
remain strong this year but at a more moderate level.
"Our view is that there was a number of one-offs in the
first quarter that won't be there for the rest of the year,"
Leighton told Reuters.
"The key is we had a very good Christmas and therefore a lot
of the retailers entered the year with quite low stock levels so
you've got that stock replenishment that's kicked in," he added.
Pandora, which manufactures its jewellery in Thailand, also
raised its target for new store openings this year to more than
225 from more than 175.
($1 = 5.4264 Danish Crowns)
(Editing by Pravin Char)