Pandora reported a loss in the first quarter following global store shutdowns amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The company posted a loss of DKK 24 million ($3.5 million), compared with a profit of DKK 797 million ($115.8 million) the previous year, the Danish charm maker said Tuesday. The loss was driven by the global shutdown of all the company’s stores during the period as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, particularly in China.
“The Chinese market was in many ways challenging for Pandora in [the first quarter],” the company noted. “Pandora started to close physical stores due to COVID-19 from late January, and the logistics of the online channel were also disrupted.”
Global sales fell 13% year on year to DKK 4.17 billion ($606.1 million) for the January-to-March period, the Danish charm maker reported Tuesday. Revenue in the US slipped 7% in local currency to DKK 935 million ($135.8 million), while sales in China plunged 61% to DKK 212 million ($30.8 million) in local-currency terms.
Prior to the closures, the company saw positive growth in the first two months of the year in key markets including the US, the UK, Italy, France and Germany. Total revenue was up 1% for January and February, as consumers responded to the company’s new brand marketing.
Online sales were also strong, primarily during the lockdown period, growing 29%, Pandora said. The online channel grew by triple-digit rates in April.
Sales have improved since the end of the quarter, as stores began to reopen, the company noted. Although markets in China reopened in March, traffic was still weak, but demand strengthened “substantially” in April.
“Traffic into the stores is gradually improving and is getting closer to a normalized level,” Pandora said. The company has hired a new general manager for the region to help turn around performance and establish Pandora as a “unique and well-known brand” in China. The jeweler has also begun to reopen stores in Germany.
Pandora is preparing a number of commercial initiatives it plans to roll out as soon as the market situation strengthens.
“The group is now preparing for the recovery after the pandemic, and our strong performance in January and February makes us confident in the underlying brand momentum,” said Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik. “We have implemented cost and cash initiatives to ensure that we have the necessary financial strength for a strong commercial comeback when demand starts normalizing.”
The company will not issue financial guidance for 2020 until the market stabilizes and it can provide meaningful information, it noted.