Pandora, the world's biggest jewellery maker, said on Wednesday its performance since the start of the year has been "healthy" with high single-digit sales growth, as it announced a share buyback program after a strong run.
Pandora has been a rare bright spot among retailers and brands targeting aspirational consumers with affordable luxury items.
The company is aiming for overall organic revenue growth of 6%-9% in 2024, it said, after reporting strong sales of its silver charms and bracelets which have helped its share price to more than double since the start of last year.
The growth target is in line with a goal set in October for a 7-9% compound annual growth rate from 2023 to 2026.
It also announced a share buyback program of up to 4 billion Danish crowns ($577.7 million), and a dividend of 18 Danish crowns per share. Its shares rose around 1% at the open.
A weak spot was China, where Pandora said fourth-quarter sales missed expectations, falling to 116 million crowns from 143 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
Expectations for a strong post-pandemic rebound in China were derailed last year by a property crisis and high youth unemployment, curbing consumer spending and hitting luxury brands like Burberry.
China accounted for just 2% of Pandora's total revenues in 2023, down from 5% of revenues as recently as 2021.
"We're in there for the long game. It's going to be step by step, and one day China will be a significant portion of Pandora," CEO Alexander Lacik said in an interview with Reuters.
The brand, which sold 107 million pieces of jewellery in 2023, up from 103 million in 2022, has expanded its range of bracelets, with prices ranging from $60 to more than $2,000, and been opening new stores and moving away from wholesale.
"They have improved their communication and marketing very significantly," said Jaime Vazquez de Lapuerta, portfolio manager at Bestinver in Madrid, which holds Pandora shares.
Pandora has a big opportunity to open more stores in its biggest market, the United States, he added. "Then you have a potential turnaround in China, but you don't need to believe in that to be bullish on Pandora."
The company's revenue in the US increased by 2% to 8.3 billion crowns over 2023. Revenue in China fell by 9% to 564 million crowns over the year.