When does a company get punished for reporting double-digit growth in profits and sales? When even those strong numbers don’t meet analysts’ forecasts. Just ask Pandora.
The Copenhagen-based jewelry firm, best known for its affordable charm bracelets, said net profit rose 34.2 percent to 1.22 billion kronor, or $185 million, in the second quarter to June 30.
But the company’s shares fell as much as 6.8 percent on Tuesday after the results were lower than expected. The shares recovered some ground to close down 4.2 percent at 830 kronor, or $476.70 at current exchange, on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.
Pandora posted sales of 4.33 billion Danish kronor, or $657 million, in the quarter, up 20 percent year-on-year. This was below the median estimate of 4.52 billion kronor, or $686 million, from analysts polled by FactSet. In local currency terms, revenues rose 25 percent during the period.
Markets have become accustomed to exceptional performances from the company, whose share value has multiplied by four times since it went public in 2010. In the second quarter of 2015, sales grew 41.4 percent in reported terms.
Pandora maintained its 2016 guidance, though it signaled challenging conditions in countries like Brazil and Russia, and a worse-than-expected performance in Canada. In local currency terms, second-quarter sales were up 51 percent in Asia-Pacific, 32 percent in the EMEA region and 10 percent in the Americas.
“Overall, 25 percent growth in the quarter in local currencies is something that we feel very good about,” Anders Colding Friis, chief executive officer of Pandora, said in a conference call. He reiterated earlier comments that revenues will grow at a more moderate pace as the brand gets bigger.
“It’s not like we’re totally resilient and I don’t think we’ve ever been, but clearly as we become bigger in some of these markets, we will also see a little bit more impact,” he said, adding: “We’re getting to a point where clearly the percentage growth is going to be smaller.”
The group is forecasting full-year revenue above 20 billion kronor and an EBITDA margin of more than 38 percent. It raised its guidance for capital expenditure to around 1.2 billion kronor, versus 1.0 billion kronor previously, to fund projects including IT and production expansion in Thailand.
The company said growth in the second quarter was driven by higher volumes, with expansion accounting for two-thirds of the progression. It opened 68 concept stores during the three-month period, for a total of 1,920 concept stores.
Pandora now expects to add more than 300 concept stores in 2016, instead of the originally projected 275. It revealed that revenues from its e-commerce sites, available in 14 countries, accounted for 4 percent of group sales in the second quarter, up from around 2.5 percent a year earlier.
Friis said it would launch online sales in China and Canada in the second half and was not worried about e-commerce significantly hurting business at bricks-and-mortar stores.
“Can there potentially be a little bit of impact and cannibalization here and there? Yes of course, and that is also logical, but basically we believe the two channels work well together, so the total will be bigger as we have both available for the consumer,” he said.
Sales in the United States rose 11 percent in local currency terms, with revenues from charms flat due to a tough comparison with the second quarter of 2015, which saw the launch of Pandora’s Disney collection. Revenues in Canada fell 5 percent, while the Caribbean posted a double-digit sales decrease.
In EMEA, the United Kingdom — which accounts for a quarter of the region’s sales — registered a 7 percent sales rise. Friis said there had been no impact so far from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in the June 23 referendum.
“If we look at the beginning of this quarter, we are still good. We haven’t seen any material impact. But I think that it is worth expecting that there will be some turbulence in the U.K. going forward,” he added. Revenues rose around 40 percent in Italy, and 70 percent in France and Germany.
Sales in Asia-Pacific were boosted by China, which posted a 200 percent jump in revenues without taking into account the positive impact of Pandora’s takeover of local distribution. It now expects to open around 40 concept stores annually in China in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Pandora said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margin rose to 37.2 percent from 36.4 percent a year ago, mainly due to an improved gross margin, which benefited from factors including more favorable raw material prices and an increase in revenue from directly owned stores.
But the rising price of gold and silver means it expects raw materials to have a negative impact of 1 percent on the gross margin in 2017 and 2 percent in 2018.
Friis said that starting in the third quarter, Pandora would implement price changes to align the pricing structure across its three main regions. “The goal is not to have the same prices in all markets but rather that the ranking of our products, price-wise, is similar across all markets,” he explained.
He added that there should be no impact on average prices, since the initiative included both price increases as well as decreases.