Carphone Warehouse posts rise in profits and sales
Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has said it is on course to meet its full-year forecasts after reporting an 8.3% increase in like-for-like sales in the first half of its financial year.
In the 26 weeks to 28 September 2013, Carphone Warehouse’s headline pre-tax profit was £19 million, compared with £4 million a year earlier.
The group, which earlier this year agreed to buy back Best Buy's stake in its European joint venture for £471 million, said sales had been driven by significant postpay growth which had offset a weak prepay market.
However, the group reported that like-for-like sales growth at Carphone Warehouse stores had slowed to 3.6% in the second quarter as customers delayed purchasing new handsets as they waited for the 4G roll-out and new product launches. This compares to first quarter growth of 13.2%.
Carphone Warehouse said it was encouraged by the interest and uptake of 4G and expects the benefits to come through progressively.
The group's chief executive Andrew Harrison said: "Carphone Warehouse has delivered good like-for-like growth for the half and for the fifth successive quarter. This is a strong performance given the reduced marketplace activity ahead of the wider launch of 4G across Europe and the continued double-digit decline of the prepay market. We have increased market share and grown EBIT year-on-year.
"We invested in our brand and our channels during the period to reposition Carphone Warehouse and make our role within mobile retailing clearer than ever. This investment includes a new tablet-based sales tool called 'Pin Point' which simplifies our sales process, particularly relevant with the widespread arrival of 4G.
"We continue to develop our partnerships with other retailers as we look to gain scale in Europe. We have set up and launched our new Connected World Services division, forging promising new global relationships, and creating our new 'honeyBee' platform with Accenture.
"Looking ahead, we reiterate our full year guidance. We are in excellent operational shape to take advantage of the key Christmas trading period and are encouraged by the growth of 4G as it starts to arrive across all the major networks."
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