PARIS — Pandora reported a 5 percent decline in organic sales in the third quarter, an improvement from earlier in the year, but the jewelry firm flagged uncertainty from the coronavirus crisis heading into the crucial holiday season.
“We are now facing a period with new lockdowns, but we are prepared to navigate through the heightened uncertainty, and we have the financial strength to sustain a prolonged period with lockdowns,” said Alexander Lacik, president and chief executive officer.
The executive cited double-digit growth in sales in the U.S. and the U.K over the quarter as signs that the company had turned business around.
Under Lacik, who joined the jeweler just over a year ago, Pandora has been undergoing a brand reboot to regain popularity and adjust to declining foot traffic in malls, where much of its sprawling network of stores is located.
Efforts, which had begun to pay off before the coronavirus pandemic hit, have been focused on bulking up marketing investments, buying back wholesale inventory, redesigning stores, streamlining product assortments with an emphasis on charms, reducing discounts and shoring up its digital means.
Sales for the third quarter came to 4.07 billion Danish kronor, or $640 million, down 5 percent on an organic basis, but up 1 percent on a like-for-like basis that excluded closed stores. The margin on earnings before tax came to 17.2 percent, compared to 20.2 percent last year.
The company trumpeted that its turnaround efforts are bearing fruit, noting that five out of seven key markets had positive sell-out growth despite a trading environment complicated by COVID-19.
Online growth over the quarter jumped 89 percent to reach 21 percent of sales.
The company said 18 percent of physical stores would be be closed temporarily in November.
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