In Q1, Pandora Notes ‘Heightened Consumer Hesitancy’ in US

FinancialsMay 04, 2023

In Q1, Pandora Notes ‘Heightened Consumer Hesitancy’ in US

Pandora’s like-for-like sales were flat globally while they fell 7 percent in the United States.

20230504_Pandora lab-grown diamond rings.jpg
A stack of lab-grown diamond rings from “Diamonds by Pandora,” the company’s lab-grown diamond line that launched in the United States last summer. Diamonds by Pandora sales totaled $5 million in the first quarter, the company reported Tuesday.
Copenhagen, Denmark—First-quarter sales essentially were flat for Pandora, as the company famous for its affordable, collectible beads continues to grapple with declines in consumer spending amid inflation and rising interest rates. 
Pandora reported Tuesday that first quarter 2023 sales totaled 5.85 billion Danish kroner ($868.2 million) up about 3 percent from DKK 5.69 billion ($844.4 million) in the first quarter 2022. 
However, like-for-like sales were flat, and organic growth was only 1 percent, which Pandora described as “resilient growth despite macroeconomic challenges.” 
EBIT margin in the first quarter was 21.5 percent, down from 23 percent in the prior-year period, mainly attributable to the money the company is sinking into its turnaround plan, dubbed “Phoenix,” and employee raises. 
The company noted that the price increases it implemented six months ago have had a positive impact on EBIT margin without negatively impacting sales, and it will consider raising prices again in the future while still keeping its jewelry affordable. 
“We have started 2023 well with resilient growth and solid margins,” Pandora President and CEO Alexander Lacik said. 
“Our investments in lifting the brand are paying off with good performance in our ‘Moments’ base business and strong results from newer platforms, ‘Timeless’ and ‘Pandora ME’ … The macroeconomic outlook remains uncertain, but we are confident in our ability to adapt and thrive, as we’ve proven over the past few quarters.” 
 Related stories will be right here … 
In the United States, first-quarter revenue totaled DKK 1.72 billion ($254.8 million), up 4 percent from DKK 1.65 billion ($245 million) in the first quarter 2022. 
On a like-for-like basis, Pandora’s quarterly sales in the U.S. slipped 7 percent—the same as in Q4—and organic sales were down 4 percent. 
Pandora said sales at company-owned and -operated stores improved between the fourth quarter 2022 and first quarter 2023 while the performance of franchise stores declined. 
Conversion rates also were slightly lower due to signs of “heightened consumer hesitancy.” 
The U.S. is Pandora’s largest market, accounting for 29 percent of revenue worldwide, twice as much as the company’s second biggest market, the United Kingdom (14 percent). 
In reporting its first-quarter results, the company also gave an update on “Diamonds by Pandora,” its lab-grown diamond jewelry line piloted in the U.K. and launched in the U.S. in August 2022.

Revenue from sales of Diamonds by Pandora totaled DKK 34 million ($5 million) in the first quarter, up from DKK 9 million ($1.3 million) in the first quarter 2022, before it had expanded to the U.S. 
The company said the line is “tracking as planned” while noting its potential, which it aims to realize by expanding the assortment and investing in marketing while also rolling out to more markets later this year. 
Diamonds by Pandora currently accounts for 1 percent of Pandora’s total revenue. 
Looking ahead to the rest of 2023, Pandora is raising its guidance despite political and economic uncertainty, citing its resilient Q1 performance while also noting, “the economic outlook for the remainder of 2023 remains uncertain. High inflation and rising interest rates suggest that consumer spending will continue to be under pressure.” 
Pandora updated its guidance to organic growth of -2 percent to 3 percent, a slight improvement from the previous range (-3 percent to 3 percent). 
It is forecasting like-for-like sales growth will be flat at best and down 4 percent at worst, a range that depends on how macroeconomic conditions progress throughout 2023.  
As of the first quarter, Pandora operated a total of 6,483 points of sale worldwide, a mix of concept stores (Pandora-owned, franchisee-owned, and third-party distribution) as well as other points of sale, which includes shop-in-shops like the ones it has in Macy’s stores in the U.S. 
That is 44 fewer points of sale than the company had at the close of 2022 (6,527). 
Pandora expects to open a net of 50-100 concept stores this year and 50-100 company-owned and -operated other points of sale.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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