Pandora Sees Comeback, Even as Its Sales Still Fall

Pandora is saying that it has turned the corner—though some may find that hard to believe from its third-quarter financial results.

Revenue for the quarter fell 11% to DKK 4.42 billion (about $654 million), with the company posting a DKK 119 million ($17.6 million) net loss.

U.S. sales for the period declined 18% in dollar terms, with concept-store comps tumbling 9%. Pandora attributed this to fewer promotions.

On a conference call following the release of its financial results, recently installed chief executive officer Alexander Lacik argued that, despite the bad results, the company has just seen an “important milestone,” with early indications from its commercial reset showing improved traffic and a less-drastic decline in comps.

“[The initiatives] just started eight weeks ago,” Lacik said. “We are headed in the right direction.

“Changing the brand perception is not a quick fix,” he added. “I have no doubt that short-term and long-term investments are required and will pay off.… [We have] better products, better markets, and I think we have a stronger investment in media.… What’s really important now is that consumers take notice of our efforts. So that’s where our focus is now.”

He added that customers have seemed to embrace the company’s new concept stores (pictured) and products.

“When Pandora brings innovation to the market, we get a positive consumer reaction,” he said.

Still, Lacik expected that the company would continue to post negative comps for the foreseeable future.

Yesterday, Pandora’s board of directors nominated Peter A. Ruzicka (pictured below) as the chair of its board.  He will replace Peder Tuborgh, who has served as board chair since 2014. Tuborgh announced his intention to step down in March.

Peter A Ruzicka
Peter A. Ruzicka has been nominated to be Pandora’s new chairman.

A release called Ruzicka “a strong retail executive with significant international experience.” He recently resigned as president and chief executive officer of Orkla ASA, a publicly traded company whose consumer goods division produces food, snack, and health products. It is one of the largest companies in Norway.

His appointment has to be approved at Pandora’s extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on Dec. 4. If approved, Ruzicka will take office next year.

Top: Pandora’s new Birmingham, U.K., concept store (images courtesy of Pandora Group)

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