Beyoncé may have advised “if you liked it, you shoulda put a ring on it”, but that wouldn’t have been enough for Pandora. Much better, from the Danish jeweller’s point of view, to stack those rings up Pixie Lott-style.
Clearly, it is on to something. The popularity of wearing more than one ring on a finger has helped the company to deliver a sparkling set of results, with sales of rings doubling to DKr1 billion (£100 million) for the first time.
The fashion of stacking rings, popularised by Lott, the singer who promotes Pandora, drove overall revenue up by a third to DKr11.9 billion last year.
Pandora’s rings sell at a higher average price than its more familiar charms and bracelets — a notable contrast to the rise in price of Pandora’s jewellery that wiped the shine off the company in 2011, a year after it had been listed on the Copenhagen stock exchange. That shift away from affordable luxury triggered a profit warning that sent the shares down by almost 80 per cent as shoppers were priced out.
Yet it turned out to be a setback rather than a killer blow for a company that has grown from a single store in Copenhagen opened in 1982 to a 1,400-store retail empire selling in more than 90 countries and employing 11,400 people, many of them in Thailand where it makes its jewellery.
Under Allan Leighton, the veteran retailer who is credited with turning around Asda in the Nineties, Pandora has continued to expand globally, including opening 156 stores in the UK over the past four and a half years.
Mr Leighton, who has been chief executive since April 2013 after joining as chairman two and a half years earlier, said yesterday: “The performance in the fourth quarter was our strongest ever and resulted in 2014 being a very successful year for Pandora.”
Helped by social media campaigns and celebrity partners, such as Lott and Louise and Jamie Redknapp, annual revenues in Europe surged by 41.1 per cent last year, with sales in Britain, which has become a key market, up 42.8 per cent to DKr1.7 billion. The United States, which accounts for a third of sales, delivered 13.4 per cent revenue growth and Asia Pacific 53.5 per cent.
Mr Leighton was paid DKr20.7 million last year. Shares in Pandora closed 17 per cent higher at DKr533 last night.
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