Pandora shares jump 8% on upbeat fourth-quarter results

The Pandora logo is seen in jewellery shop in downtown Rome
The Pandora logo is seen in jewellery shop in downtown Rome, Italy, August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
  • Company expects organic growth in 2023 between -3% and 3%
  • Saw record sales in 2022, beating guidance
  • Slight uptick in store traffic in China in January - CEO
  • Expects brand relaunch in China in Q3 - CEO
  • Shares up 8.5%

COPENHAGEN, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Danish jewellery maker Pandora (PNDORA.CO) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and record annual sales on Wednesday, sending its shares up more than 8%, although it predicted uncertainty around sales in 2023.

"We ended 2022 on a high note. Despite the macroeconomic pressure on consumers and COVID-19 headwinds in China, we continue to deliver solid growth vs pre-pandemic levels," Chief Executive Alexander Lacik said.

Shares surged 8.6% in noon trading, and are up around 77% from a 2 1/2-year low in late September.

Quarterly sales were 9.9 billion Danish crowns ($1.43 billion), above an average forecast of 9.6 billion in a poll of analysts compiled by the company.

Sales were at a record 26.5 billion Danish crowns ($3.82 billion) last year, corresponding to growth of 7%, above its guidance of 4% to 6%.

For 2023, Pandora projects sales growth in a range between a drop of 3% to an increase of 3%, amid uncertainty over economic growth. Analysts had expected the firm's sales growth forecast to average 1%.

A potential driver of future growth is China, the world's largest jewellery market. Pandora's business there, making up just 3% of revenue in 2022, suffered most of last year due to strict COVID-19 curbs. But the market showed signs of bouncing back in January after Beijing eased many COVID rules.

"Through January, the traffic into the physical store network is sequentially improving week on week," Lacik said.

Pandora, which aims to triple its sales in China compared to 2019 levels, postponed a branch relaunch there last year. It now aims to initiate the relaunch in the third quarter, Lacik said.

The company proposed a dividend of 16 crowns per share and a new share buy-back programme of 2.4 billion crowns, to be increased to 5 billion unless macroeconomic conditions worsen.

($1 = 6.9305 Danish crowns)

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard, editing by Anna Ringstrom and Bernadette Baum

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