Carphone says profits will beat expectations

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Second quarter growth in mobile connections at Carphone Warehouse slowed from the first, but Europe’s largest mobile retailer said that interim pre-tax profits would still beat its own expectations as it bucked the trend of the larger retail sector.

Total new mobile connections - the group’s key measure of trading - rose 15.1 per cent to 1.78m, compared with a 19 per cent rise in the first quarter. Monthly subscription connections rose 20.6 per cent to 830,000, while lower-margin pre-pay connections rose 13.1 per cent to 810,000.

Carphone said in its trading update for the 13 weeks to October 1 that it expected pre-tax profits to rise 35 per cent, ahead of its expectations.

Charles Dunstone, chief executive, said: “We have enjoyed another excellent quarter of growth. Mobile market conditions continue to favour the Carphone Warehouse model, and our on-going efforts to differentiate our offer are being rewarded.”

He added that Carphone was able to continue to defy the retail gloom because of the intense competition between mobile operators.

TalkTalk UK, Carphone’s fixed-line residential service, added 69,000 customers to bring the total to 1.06m, a rise of 63.4 per cent on last year, and Carphone said it expected a similar rate of customer net additions through the rest of the financial year.

The group opened 50 new stores, bringing the total to 1,586.

Carphone shares fell 3½p to 191½p in morning trade in London.

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