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* 2013 EBITDA margin widens by more than 28 percent
* Shares rise 4.5 percent at 0822 GMT
COPENHAGEN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Danish jewellery maker and retailer Pandora reported better than previously expected sales and profits on Friday, which it said was due to good Christmas sales and a faster pace of store openings.
According to preliminary results, revenue for the year was up by 35 percent at around 9 billion Danish crowns ($1.64 billion), improving on a previous forecast of around 8.6 billion crowns.
“Following a strong finish to the year, with better than expected Christmas sales, we will end 2013 with around 35 percent revenue growth and a substantial increase in profitability compared to 2012,” Chief Executive Allan Leighton said in a statement.
Profits were even better as it said the margin for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was around 32 percent instead of the expected 30 percent and up more than 28 percent compared to last year.
“An upgrade was expected, but this is significantly better than expected. Revenue in the fourth quarter is 200 million crowns better than we expected,” analyst Jesper Christensen of Alm. Brand Markets said.
Pandora’s revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013 was up 27 percent on a year ago at around 2.8 billion Danish crowns while the EBITDA margin improved to around 33 percent from 24.6 percent in the same period last year.
Pandora’s full results are due to be announced on February 18. ($1=5.4861 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Shida Chayesteh and Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Greg Mahlich)