Carphone prepay sales up 20pc


Carphone Warehouse’s retail joint venture with US electronics retailer Best Buy, called Best Buy Europe, saw mobile connections up 12 per cent, to three million.

Prepay connections were up 20 per cent in the quarter; its prepay market share improved as significant competition withdrew from the market with the demise of general retailer Woolworths.

Mobile contract connections were up two per cent to 1.1 million. It cited strong demand for the Apple iPhone, smartphones and mobile broadband.

Carphone admitted losses in the mid-range handset market as general demand for mid-range phones has been hit by the recession.

Meanwhile, it added 74,000 broadband subscribers in the fourth quarter, January through March 2009.

TalkTalk added 970,000 and its AOL base shed 23,000 customers. Its total broadband base now stands at 2.8 million, of which 78 per cent (2.2 million) are unbundled customers.

The additions came from a strong acquisition drive, attended by significant marketing and value in its broadband proposition.

Carphone Group chief executive Charles Dunstone said: “The business has performed well in the fourth quarter, with continued sales momentum in both divisions. 

“The full year out-turn is set to be in line with expectations. Our broadband business has shown strong progress, reflecting higher gross adds, lower churn and continued operational improvements. Our value proposition is clearly resonating with customers.

“In Best Buy Europe, we have continued to outperform the market with a continuation of the trends of recent quarters, as good volume growth was offset by lower gross margins.”