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Jeweller Pandora cuts sales forecast on weak consumer, Hong Kong unrest

[COPENHAGEN] Danish jewellery maker Pandora on Tuesday warned of a steeper fall in sales this year than expected, hurt by lower spending by consumers in the United States and Britain and political unrest in Hong Kong.

It now sees sales falling 7-9 per cent this year, down from a previous forecast of a 3-7 per cent drop.

Shares were seen down as much as 15 per cent in early trade.

Pandora's jewellery, especially its charms for bracelets, used to be in high demand but the company is struggling to entice consumers with new and edgy pieces, keeping both shoppers and investors at bay.

In a bid to win back shoppers the world's largest jewellery maker by production capacity has doubled down on efforts to refresh its image but costs related to the revamp weighed on the quarter.

Total like-for-like sales dropped 10 per cent in the third quarter, while in Hong Kong sales halved as protests disrupted traffic at its stores.

A weaker economy pressured consumer spending in some of its biggest markets, including the United States, Britain and mainland China.

Third-quarter earnings before interest tax (EBIT) and excluding restructuring costs fell 25 per cent to 891 million Danish crowns (S$180.1 million), below the 986 million crowns expected by analysts in a company-compiled poll.


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