- 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 4.4%
By Nikolaj Skydsgaard
COPENHAGEN, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Danish jewellery maker Pandora on Wednesday gave a broad sales forecast for 2023, projecting a range between a drop of 3% to an increase of 3%, amid uncertainty over economic growth and its impact on consumer demand.
“We start off with a little bit of a wider view and as the year goes by, we expect that this will keep narrowing,” Chief Executive Alexander Lacik told Reuters.
Analysts had expected the firm’s sales growth forecast to come in at 1% on average. The lower end of the guidance assumed a worsening of macroeconomic conditions, Lacik said.
Last year, Pandora saw record high sales of 26.5 billion Danish crowns ($3.82 billion), corresponding to growth of 7%, above its guidance of 4% to 6%.
Shares in Pandora traded up 4.4% in early trading.
“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,” Lacik said.
Pandora’s China business 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. People are still cautiously waiting to see if things are actually going to remain open,” Lacik told Reuters.
Pandora, which aims to triple its sales in China compared to 2019 levels, postponed a branch relaunch in the country last year. It now aims to initiate the relaunch, which entails large media investments and advertising, in the third quarter of this year, Lacik said.
Pandora on Wednesday reported quarterly sales of 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.
It proposed a dividend of 16 crowns per share and a new share buy-back programme of 2.4 billion crowns, with an intention to increase that to 5 billion unless macroeconomic conditions worsen, it said.
($1 = 6.9305 Danish crowns)