Carphone Q3 profits up 86pc


Carphone Warehouse’s mobile connections across Europe in Q3 were up two per cent to 5.9 million, according to its results released today.

Its group revenues measured £697 million for the quarter, up 13 per cent year on year. EBITDA went up 58 per cent in the quarter to £65 million, while profit after tax was up 86 per cent to £29 milion.

The company opened 63 stores and closed another 63, maintaining the store base at 2,459. Within this total, the number of franchise stores increased from 219 at March 2009 to 223.

The company now has 17 ‘wireless world’ stores open. It is also hoping to open up to 50 larger format stores by the end of next year. The majority of these will be in the UK.

Carphone’s TalkTalk Group completed the acquisition of the UK businesses of Tiscali in July. The company said it is continuing to target annualised synergies of around £50 million by March 2011, through customer migration, the integration of network backhaul, exchange infrastructure, billing and customer management systems, and back office operations.

Total broadband and non-broadband revenues including Tiscali were up 15 per cent to £631 million, up from £549 million.

The broadband customer base including Tiscali was up 48 per cent year-on-year to 4.12 million.

TalkTalk Group added 62,000 net new broadband subscribers in the period to September 2009. Excluding Tiscali, TalkTalk Group added 124,000 net new broadband customers.

Aditionally, the Carphone/TalkTalk demerger is on track to be completed by the end of March 2010. The company said the structure is now finalised, and there will be two separately listed businesses, the first to be called ‘TalkTalk Group PLC’, which will have a ‘Primary listing’ on the London Stock Exchange. The second will be ‘Carphone Warehouse Group PLC’, which will have a ‘Secondary listing’. This Group will comprise Best Buy Europe (50 per cent ownership), Virgin Mobile France (48.5 per cent), and Carphone Property (including freehold property assets) (100 per cent).

Carphone Warehouse chief executive Charles Dunstone (pictured) said: “Both TalkTalk Group and Best Buy Europe have traded well in the first half of the financial year. Each business has delivered a significant year-on-year improvement in operating free cash flow. As a result, we are raising guidance for the full year to March 2010.”

“Best Buy Europe, in which we have a 50 per cent share, also delivered strong growth, with year-on-year connections growth of two per cent being ahead of our initial projections and achieved despite the overall European handset market remaining subdued versus historical levels. We continued to gain market share in a number of markets and particularly in the high-end smartphone category.”