Carphone connections up 12 per cent in Q4


Carphone Warehouse has reported a 12 per cent increase in overall mobile connections for Q4 to 2.7 million customers.

According to performance results released today, contract sales are up nine per cent, largely due to growth in mobile broadband and smartphone connections.

Prepay sales were up 16.8 per cent, but SIM-free handset sales were down 6.8 per cent.

The group reported a net addition of 109,000 broadband customers across TalkTalk and AOL, taking this customer base to more than 2.7 million.

Forecasts for the year ahead to March 2009 include plans to open 120 new stores, increase mobile connections by 10 per cent, profit growth from broadband business and further acceleration of the rollout of Best Buy Mobile stores in the US.

Chief executive Charles Dunstone said: “Net debt at the year end has increased both as a result of the significant weakening of sterling against European currencies, and our decision to increase spending on capital expenditure and customer recruitment.

“Although we are mindful of a tough consumer environment, we see significant opportunity to evolve our retail model to address the opportunities of a changing market place. The broadband business is set to deliver significant further margin improvement, and provides us with excellent earnings visibility.

“Progress in the US continues to be very encouraging and with our partners Best Buy we believe this can become a significant third leg for the group over the medium term.”

Full year results for year ending March 2008 will be published on June 3.

Capital expenditure for the coming year includes £45 million for new stores, re-sites and refits; £85 million for telecoms network infrastructure; £70 million for IT systems development and hardware and £20 million for other costs.