Pandora reduces full-year forecast following “unsatisfactory” Q3 results

Jewellery giant Pandora has once again reduced its full year forecast amid “unsatisfactory” third quarter results.

In Q3 2018, Group revenue decreased by 3% in local currency. Pandora attributes this is due to timing of shipments, change of inventory levels in the wholesale channel and negative total like-for-like.

Due to the unsatisfactory Q3 2018 performance, a lower than expected tailwind from forward integration, as well as a weak start to the fourth quarter, Pandora says full year revenue growth is now expected to be 2-4% in local currency, (previously 4-7%), while the EBITDA margin guidance is unchanged at around 32%.

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Following a health check of the business, Pandora has also launched Programme NOW’, which will focus on pursuing cost opportunities, reducing working capital, reigniting sustainable like-for-like driven revenue growth, and lifting the brand to the next level of maturity, operating as a much more unified global company.

As a first step in the programme, acquisitions of franchisees will be significantly reduced. Pandora will also open fewer stores focusing on selected key markets with white space areas.

Meanwhile, the board of directors of continue the search for a new chief executive office and new non-executive board members and says it is encouraged by the progress of the searches.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

In Q3 2018, group revenue decreased 3% in local currency. Total like-for-like sales-out growth was also down by 3% (-1% in Q2 2018 and -3% in H1 2018).

Revenue from Pandora owned retail increased 34% in local currency of which 33 percentage points is related to forward integration and new store openings

Retail like-for-like sales-out growth was 1% (3% in Q2 2018).

Revenue from the eStore increased 52% in local currency and accounted for 8% of revenue, up from 5% in Q3 2017.

Revenue from wholesale decreased 27% in local currency. The wholesale channel was significantly impacted by timing of shipments and change of inventory levels in the channel.

Anders Boyer, CFO of Pandora, comments: “The third quarter results were unsatisfactory and we adjust our full year guidance. We have reviewed our business and decided to launch a forceful programme with the aim to materially reduce costs across the company to free up resources to invest in sustainable like-for-like growth. “

He continues: “At the same time, we have to lift Pandora to the next level of maturity operating as a more unified global company. We have taken the first major step in the programme today by changing our network expansion plan. We have confidence in a strong future for Pandora and will use 2018 and 2019 to re-set the business.”

At the Capital Markets Day in January 2018, Pandora presented an ambition to grow revenue annually by 7-10% in local currency and maintain an EBITDA margin of around 35% in the years 2018-2022.

As a consequence of the reduction in acquisitions and network expansion, Pandora sees a lower but more sustainable growth going forward driven by low to mid-single digit like-for-like in the mid-term; concept store openings in selected key markets; and potentially selected franchise store acquisitions.

In 2019 and potentially into 2020, growth is expected to be impacted by a planned reduction of promotions and mark-downs as well as a continued reduction of inventories in the wholesale channel. The planned reduction of promotions and mark-downs is expected to have a negative impact on both revenue and total like-for-like in the short term, while it is expected to be margin neutral on group level.

In connection with the Q2 2018 announcement in August, Pandora stated that a 35% EBITDA margin is attainable assuming positive total like-for-like growth. Since August, further significant margin supporting initiatives have been identified but it has also become clear that like-for-like growth remains under pressure and further investments in driving like-for-like growth are necessary. Additional analysis of the cost reduction potential and the required investments to drive sustainable like-for-like are necessary and the company is reviewing the ambition to reach an annual EBITDA margin of 35% during 2019-2022.

Financial guidance for 2019 will be provided in connection with the full year announcement in February 2019.

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