UPDATE 1-Jewellery maker Pandora shuts one in four stores worldwide

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COPENHAGEN, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Pandora said on Monday new coronavirus lockdown measures had forced it to close a quarter of its stores at the beginning of the year, even as it raised full-year earnings guidance for the second time in less than two weeks.

Pandora, the world’s biggest jewellery maker, said consumers had shifted spending away from travelling and services to jewellery in the fourth quarter, but that a recent escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic created greater uncertainty about sales this year.

The company said in a statement that it expects organic growth of around minus 11% for 2020, compared to guidance in late-December of “at least 1 percentage point better than the high end of the guidance range of minus 14% to minus 17%.”

The EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) margin is expected at around 20%, compared to the 17.5%-19% guidance range in late-December, it said.

While around 10% of physical stores on average were temporarily closed during the fourth quarter, the company had now shut 25% of its 2,700 stores worldwide.

Shares rose slightly after the statement was released and were trading 0.6% higher at 1352 GMT.

Pandora is scheduled to publish full 2020 earnings on Feb. 4.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan