Mobile News Online http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk The UK's leading mobile communication industry news site Fri, 26 May 2017 10:30:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 In My Opinion bullish over new handset range http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/26/opinion-bullish-new-handset-range/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/26/opinion-bullish-new-handset-range/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 10:30:02 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67981 Staines-based manufacturer aiming to ship 400,000 handsets by the end of next year Challenger device manufacturer In My Opinion (IMO) claims its latest handset range can help it take three per cent of the smartphone market by the end of next year The latest products are the S2 (£129) and Q+ (pricing to be announced)

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Staines-based manufacturer aiming to ship 400,000 handsets by the end of next year

Challenger device manufacturer In My Opinion (IMO) claims its latest handset range can help it take three per cent of the smartphone market by the end of next year

The latest products are the S2 (£129) and Q+ (pricing to be announced) smartphones, alongside the £30 Dash feature phone. All three are expected to be released in the UK during the second half of this year.

IMO’s flagship handset in the portfolio is the S2, which comes with a built-in fingerprint sensor, metal body, five-inch HD touchscreen and 13 megapixel camera.

Major Driver

IMO head of sales and propositions Nigel Whitehead claimed no other rival mobile phone in the S2’s price range offers similar features, adding that he is confident it can be a major driver in helping the company achieve its ambitions.

“We’ve done an awful lot of research into the market and I’m confident no other phone in  the sub-£150 bracket offers premium features like a metal body or a fingerprint sensor,” he told Mobile News.

“These devices clearly show that you really don’t have to compromise high-end features for affordability. Our customers really want these kinds of features and I’m confident it can help us in our quest to gain more market share over the next year or so.”

Revenue Targets

The Staines-based company first hit the mobile market last October with the Q and S smartphones in October.

These products were first available from distributor Brightstar, as well as MVNOs Virgin Mobile and Talk Mobile, with the most recent retail agreements coming with recognised brands Argos, Carphone Warehouse and Amazon.

IMO has since shipped 40,000 handsets and is aiming to increase this number tenfold to over 400,000 units by the end of 2018. Revenue targets to be achieved by the end of December currently stand at more than £7 million.

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Exertis appoints industry veteran as head of mobile division http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/exertis-appoints-industry-veteran-head-mobile-division/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/exertis-appoints-industry-veteran-head-mobile-division/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 14:22:26 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67944 Ferguson spent three years at Brightstar and eight years with Vodafone Exertis has today (May 25) appointed Richard Ferguson to the post of head of commercial for Exertis Mobile. His duties will include driving engagement and growing the business with the mobile division’s range of device and accessories vendors across consumer and business. He will report

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Ferguson spent three years at Brightstar and eight years with Vodafone

Exertis has today (May 25) appointed Richard Ferguson to the post of head of commercial for Exertis Mobile.

His duties will include driving engagement and growing the business with the mobile division’s range of device and accessories vendors across consumer and business. He will report to consumer commercial director Liam La Cumbre.

Ferguson joins from Brightstar where he spent three years as vice president of OEM EMEA. He was responsible for setting supplier strategy, owning vendor relationships and driving mobile budgest across nine countries.

Prior to Brightstar he spent eight years with Vodafone as commercial director. Ferguson also worked for T-Mobile and BT in senior management roles.

Commenting on his role, Ferguson said: “I was attracted by the ambition of the company to continue to grow and the quality of the management and mobile team. The creation of a new consumer business unit will add further opportunities for mobile in the retail arena and their strong presence in the SMB and enterprise sectors bodes well for driving mobile solutions for vendors in the B2B market. I am looking forward to working with the vendors to drive incremental business for our customers.”

La Cumbre added: “He has extensive knowledge and experience of the industry having spent many years working for leading mobile network operators and most recently a mobile distributor. We have a tremendous portfolio of products and solutions to offer our customers across all market segments and opportunities to grow in key areas of our business which someone of Richard’s calibre can help us to exploit to the full.”

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Glastonbury Festival will be “most shared live event of 2017”, EE claims http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/glastonbury-festival-will-shared-live-event-2017-ee-claims/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/glastonbury-festival-will-shared-live-event-2017-ee-claims/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 13:53:54 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67937 The operator will install the first permanent network mast on site this year EE predicts Glastonbury Festival 2017 will be the “most shared live event of 2017” and data usage will increase 33 per cent year-on-year. That’s 40TB of data predicted to be shared across the five day event which is the equivalent of 400 million selfies, EE

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The operator will install the first permanent network mast on site this year

EE predicts Glastonbury Festival 2017 will be the “most shared live event of 2017” and data usage will increase 33 per cent year-on-year.

That’s 40TB of data predicted to be shared across the five day event which is the equivalent of 400 million selfies, EE claims.

To cater to the soon to be muddy revellers on Worthy Farm between June 21 and 25, EE will install the first permanent network mast on site. It comes as part of EE’s plans to spread its 4G footprint over 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2020.

Last year the operator set up what it claimed to be the world’s most powerful temporary 4G network.

At the 2016 festival attendees used 25TB of 4G, which was up 130 per cent year-on-year. A fifth of the data recorded used was uploaded, the equivalent of 22 million selfies, EE claimed.

Juice Tube Power Bank station at the Glastonbury Festival 2016

The operator, which has sponsored Glastonbury for the last five years, will provide free device charging to all 135,000 festival-goers.

Attendees can take advantage of the Juice Tube Power Bank swapping service, where they can take away a portable power bank to charge on the go.

Wireless charging will be present, compatible devices can be fully charged in 30 minutes the operator claims. The traditional charging tent will be expanded this year.

EE director of communications and sponsorship Mat Sears said: “Since EE first launched 4G in the UK, we’ve worked with the team at Glastonbury to give festival-goers the best possible network experience.

“A few years ago that meant making sure people could simply post status updates and photos, but with social media continuing its rapid growth – including the recent addition of Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and Snapchat Stories – those on site now require more data for video than ever before.”

 

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EE named best network in London but rivals close in http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/ee-named-best-network-london-rivals-close/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/ee-named-best-network-london-rivals-close/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 10:07:25 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67915 EE was the winner in overall performance, network reliability and data performance, but did not register for call performance EE is the best network in London sweeping three category awards in the process while O2 ranked in only one. RootMetrics carried out its latest test across the ‘London Large Urban Zones’ (see map) testing the major networks

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EE was the winner in overall performance, network reliability and data performance, but did not register for call performance

EE is the best network in London sweeping three category awards in the process while O2 ranked in only one.

RootMetrics carried out its latest test across the ‘London Large Urban Zones’ (see map) testing the major networks in multiple categories for the first half of 2017.

It’s a consecutive win for EE, the network bagged the title for the second half of 2016.

EE also leapt to first place from last in call connection time, from nine seconds to three seconds – rivals hover around six to seven seconds.

However it is the first time in three years the network failed to register a win in call performance.

RootMetrics senior director Scott Stonham said: “They recently rolled out 4G Calling which is a very complicated and difficult and perhaps it affected their score in that category this time around”.

On O2’s lack of presence in the test Stonham said: “We’re seeing less 4G in the area we cover with O2 and we see generally there’s less reliability, reliability issues that are bringing them back in the stats”.

Awards

EE was the winner in overall performance, network reliability and data performance.

Network reliability was shared between EE, Three and Vodafone. Call performance was split between Three and Vodafone, while O2 chalked a solitary win in text performance shared with EE.

However, O2’s rate of mobile-to-landline blocked calls increased from 0.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent. EE saw its rate increase from 0.5 per cent to 1.6 per cent.

Despite the category wins, ‘RootScores’ reveal Vodafone and Three are respectively gaining on EE (see chart below).

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Vodafone CEO Colao denies claims it will leave UK after Brexit http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/vodafone-ceo-colao-denies-rumours-will-leave-uk-brexit/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/vodafone-ceo-colao-denies-rumours-will-leave-uk-brexit/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 09:04:14 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67911 Claims are "completely groundless" after operator had said it would be evaluating its situation

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Claims are “completely groundless” after operator had said it would be evaluating its situation

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao has denied rumours the operator will move its headquarters from the UK to mainland Europe following Brexit.

Reports last year claimed the business hinted at a departure to mainland Europe once the UK leaves the European Union in 2019. The speculation concerned its Group headquarters in Paddington, which was relocated in 2009 from Newbury, where it still has a base.

Groundless

The operator currently has 462 million customers and 109,000 employees worldwide. More than 19.5 million subscribers and 13,000 employees are UK-based. At the time Brexit was announced, a Vodafone spokesperson said the network would be evaluating its situation in the UK.

Denying the claims at the release of its financials on May 16, Colao said: “These are completely groundless. We never had any intention or plan of moving in that direction. We never have any reason to do it and it was an interpretation of a hypothetical question just taken out of context.”

Back in business

Vodafone was fined £4.6 million by Ofcom in October last year following problems migrating 28.5 million customer accounts from seven billing platforms to one. It led to various high-profile cases of customers being charged incorrectly and placed on the wrong tariffs.

At the end of last year, the operator admitted it had missed Q3 targets for resolving the issues, but Colao claimed they had now been resolved.

“We are clearly not number one in the UK. We had a lot of problems in the past. We now have a good network in London and repaired the IT billing mistakes which were a problem nine months ago. These issues cost us and slowed down the company, but we are back now.”

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Tech Data launches trade-in service as it looks to take direct approach http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/tech-data-launches-trade-service-looks-take-direct-approach/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/25/tech-data-launches-trade-service-looks-take-direct-approach/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 08:16:38 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67909 Tech Data Renew will accept all mobile devices and majority of devices

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Tech Data Renew will accept all mobile devices and majority of devices 

Tech Data has launched a new trade-in service for customers with mobiles, tablets, laptops and accessories as it looks to take a more direct approach in the sector.

The offering, ‘Tech Data Renew’ accepts all brands of mobile devices, the majority of tablets, MacBooks and accessories such as Apple Watch and Samsung Gear smartwatches.

Tech Data invested in Corporate Mobile Recycling (CMR) in June last year and acquired the company under the Tech Data trademark to process the devices that are traded in at its primary
distribution centre at Magna Park, Leicestershire.

CMR will be working with Tech Data to process all of the devices that come in via Tech Data Renew, pulling together software, processes and around 60 employees under the Tech Data logo.

Customers can request a quote for their device via InTouch, the Tech Data online platform, and use old devices to offset the price of a new device.

Tech Data commercial director of services for Europe Simon Smale (pictured) said: “Trade in is not new to Tech Data. Three years ago we started with different trade in schemes in partnerships across our European countries but we found that that partnership approach wasn’t bringing the returns we really wanted it to.

“In June last year, we invested in CMR which allows us to have a much stronger value offering because what Tech Data can now do is take products back and sell new ones.”

Device value

Based in Holborn, London, CMR resells and recycles 70,000 mobile phones a month in 10 countries including the UK, Spain, Croatia, France, Italy, Australia and the Nordics.

The recycling company will be allowed to run as a separate entity to Tech Data but those working on Tech Data Renew will be based in Magna Park as the distribution company look to cash in on the trade-in market.

“In the UK 22 million new devices were sold and there looks to be around a 20 per cent catch rate that are traded in and that rate is growing,” continued Smale.

“People are becoming more aware of the value they have in their devices and we are very happy with the progress and return that is being made at the moment.”

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HTC finally raises its flag but can the U11 put the squeeze on its rivals? http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/24/htc-finally-raises-flag-can-u11-put-squeeze-rivals/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/24/htc-finally-raises-flag-can-u11-put-squeeze-rivals/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 12:38:48 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67884 Manufacturer should be realistic on expectations with new flagship smartphone

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Manufacturer should be realistic on expectations with new flagship smartphone

Late to the flagship party as usual is HTC with the U11 announced just last week (May 16).

The U11 (pictured), released in the firm’s 20th year in business, seems an impressive device with a unique feature in ‘edge sense’ where users can squeeze the U11 to launch apps and take selfies.

There’s no headphone jack but HTC have the courtesy to at least include an adapter, unlike a certain Californian rival that comes to mind.

However, will the U11 get HTC out of the ‘squeeze’ it’s currently in? Revenue for the first nine months of last year almost halved to NT$55.91 billion compared to NT$95.53 year-on-year.

Starting late is risky, especially this year when all eyes are on the Samsung Galaxy S8 range. The spotlight was shone onto the Korean manufacturer after that well publicised Note7 fiasco.

The U11 will not defeat the S8 in terms of sales or consumer favour, or any of the current top dogs such as Apple and Huawei – but it can be the start of a brighter future. Work is already on the way on the B2B side according to HTC president of Europe Greig Williams, vowing to improve communication with dealers at the Data Select Platinum Club last month.

On the U11 Williams said: “The key is how we differentiate the brand; we’re going to be specific to who we target, we’re not going to compete as we will be shouted out by others.”

The jury is still out on the U11 but if it can at least sell more than the HTC 10, the manufacturer can chalk it down as a win.

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Ingram Micro: AI and IoT is ushering in a fourth industrial revolution http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/24/ingram-micro-ai-iot-ushering-fourth-industrial-revolution/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/24/ingram-micro-ai-iot-ushering-fourth-industrial-revolution/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 12:12:52 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67877 Cloud will be at the forefront of industry transformation says Obang-Oyway

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Cloud will be at the forefront of industry transformation says Obang-Oyway

The biggest technological advancements throughout history are often pinned to what historians call the three industrial revolutions. We saw the birth of the factory with the first, the advent of the production line with the second and manufacturing shift into the digital age through the third.

A brief history lesson on human development might seem out of place in a trade magazine, but a fourth industrial movement is on the horizon – one which will have severe consequences for manufacturers, resellers and vendors alike. What was once seemed only possible in science fiction has now become a reality; the rise of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT).

It’s a theme Ingram Micro was keen to focus on at its latest UK Cloud Summit held at the Bond in Motion exhibition in London’s Covent Garden, which saw more than 200 attendees visit. According to main speaker Ingram Micro Northern Europe Cloud director Apay Obang-Oyway (pictured), cloud will be at the forefront of this major shift.

“Today we are seeing a different reality for us as a society and humankind. We are at the start of a new industrial age and the start of a new fourth industrial revolution,” he said.

“What’s driving this shift? It’s artificial intelligence, big data, social media and the IoT. There are over 8.3 billion connected devices around the world and the average household has an average of 8.3 connected devices. It’s generating tons of data and cloud is at the heart of what we’re experiencing. It’s transforming the industry dramatically.”

Obang-Oyway’s faith in the growth of the cloud market looks sensible when you consider the predicted growth of the technology over the next three years. Analyst IDC claims worldwide spending at the end of this year will exceed $122.5 billion before increasing to $203.4 billion by the end of 2020. Cloud services will remain the most dominant of this spend, making up roughly 60 per cent in 2020.

Cloud pleaser

Netflix is prime example of how cloud has helped turn the fortunes of fledgling businesses over the last few years. The internet streaming giant started life as a service which allowed customers to receive movies and TV shows through the post.

Its move into internet streaming, using customer data gathered through the cloud to tailor content, saw it turnover $8.83 billion last year. Many also consider Netflix’s rise as one of the major contributors towards movie rental specialist BlockBuster’s demise.

Another major company making use of the cloud is British motor company Tesla, which since 2014 has been using data to develop an autonomous driving solution, nicknamed AutoPilot. It has already collected over 780 million miles worth of data from Tesla vehicles already out on the road and stores it in its own cloud base systems. Obang-Oyway labelled Tesla not as a automotive company as it is known by many around the world, but more of a software specialist.

Cloud Summit: focus was on artificial intelligence and IoT

Available in over 100,000 Tesla cars, the system uses various cameras and sensors to track the distance between cars and other physical objects and enable automatic functions such as the ability to change lanes, exit motorways or park without driver assistance. The purpose is to develop the safety of autonomous driving for full commercial use.

Obang-Oyway claims the research will lead to a society reliant on smart technology. He said: “Tesla is actually a data and software company. It’s job is to understand what we are driving, how we are driving and when we’re going too fast.

“The information they’re using will be transformed into a new service; autonomous cars. It’s not just them. Uber are looking into autonomous vehicles and Dubai is looking seriously into this. They’ve got a policy where 25 per cent of all transportation will be autonomous by 2020. It’s happening very fast.

“The world is changing. Another application is big data, cloud, all in one. All augmented integration. Netflix uses machine learning to understand what we watch, when we watch. It’s tailoring content to our needs.

“The services you’re offering are changing and innovation is a reality. Today we focus on the information and what insights we will gain. It brings more opportunity.”

Challenges

However, Obang-Oyway was also very keen to point out various barriers limiting the full scale reach of cloud adoption throughout the business community.

He listed the top five concerns from businesses overall being how strong their security actually is (see boxout); the overall cost of implementing the services; worries about whether it’s the actual company or cloud storage provider who owns the data; if the bandwidth within a company can handle the data; and the confidence of highlighting the major benefits of cloud to customers.

Similarly, in research from PwC conducted in 2014, 23 per cent of businesses who were surveyed had claimed the installation of cloud services took a lot longer or cost more than they had initially expected.

The major challenges cited by these businesses in the survey included not being prepared for the move into cloud; the mindset within the company not being geared towards cloud; the product not having have the appropriate features for sales; a lack of internal resources enabling businesses to support their sales teams; a lack of skilled resources in the market overall; and bugs or obstacles which slowed down the overall process of selling cloud to end users.

Pioneers

Obang-Oyway claimed there was a serious risk of businesses being left behind had they not adopted cloud for the future. He said: “We’re very good at talking about solutions like Dropbox or Azure, but not at using them.

“Certainly one of the things is to expose yourself to the technology and understand what it will mean. The customers who are dealing with it today are understanding it better than us. They know. As the millennials work up, they know what they are doing and they are clear on how the technology adds value and they’ll be looking to you to ensure you drive that. Relevance becomes a very big question clearly.

“The path all your customers take or tread today is determined by you, the pioneers. You are the one who will make the decision and strategy. What technology should they be adopting and what should they be adding to their business? The decision of pioneering, how we create, how we solve, how we play. It’s very much driven and owned by this room today and channel partners out there.”

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Gigaclear secures £111m funding to roll out new fibre networks in rural regions http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/24/gigaclear-secures-11lm-funding-roll-new-fibre-networks-rural-regions/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/24/gigaclear-secures-11lm-funding-roll-new-fibre-networks-rural-regions/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 11:59:13 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67864 Broadband infrastructure company receives private equity boost to accelerate plans

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Broadband infrastructure company receives private equity boost to accelerate plans 

Gigaclear has secured £111 million in additional equity funding to build new fibre networks in rural Britain.

Existing shareholders Infracapital and Woodford have committed to investing £60 million and £15 million respectively, with other unnamed shareholders contributing a further £1 million.

RPMI Railpen, the investment manager for the Railways Pension Scheme, is the new additional investor, contributing £35 million to work in the company.

Significant tenders

According to Gigaclear, the new investment will enable a significant acceleration in the build-rate of the ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks across multiple counties, reaching hundreds of thousands of people.

In recent months, the company has won “significant tenders” to deliver its broadband network to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Northamptonshire through the government-backed Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

This was set up in 2013 and is part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), with the government providing superfast broadband to 90 per cent of the UK by early 2016 and 95 per cent by December this year, as well as exploring options to provide superfast coverage to the hardest to reach parts of the region.

The company added that this new investment will fund the first stage of these new networks, along with other commercial network build projects.

Continued expansion

Gigaclear chief executive Matthew Hare said: “Full fibre is the future. This latest round of investment will enable Gigaclear to step up our speed of network delivery and is a clear signal of the confidence investors have in our continued expansion and success.”

“Millions of rural homes and businesses across the country need better broadband and we want to reach as many of those in rural areas as quickly as possible.

“Our pure fibre network transforms lives by providing access to the fastest internet speeds to be found anywhere in the world and technologically future-proofing these rural communities for years to come.”

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Dixons Carphone see a 9pc increase in year-on-year growth http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/24/dixons-carphone-see-9pc-increase-year-year-growth/ http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2017/05/24/dixons-carphone-see-9pc-increase-year-year-growth/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 09:42:34 +0000 http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/?p=67839 The technology retailer also saw revenues grow 4 per cent over the forth quarter in 2016 Dixons Carphone has announced its yearly and forth quarterly figures, seeing growth over both periods. In the UK and Ireland, yearly revenues were up for the year two per cent but dropped one per sent through the quarter. Strong

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The technology retailer also saw revenues grow 4 per cent over the forth quarter in 2016

Dixons Carphone has announced its yearly and forth quarterly figures, seeing growth over both periods.

In the UK and Ireland, yearly revenues were up for the year two per cent but dropped one per sent through the quarter.

Strong performance in the electrical sector offset a ‘tough’ year for the mobile side of the company with product issues, limited supply and a shift to SIM only behind unfavourable performance.

Outside of the UK, revenues were up 20 per cent in the Nordics and Southern Europe throughout the year, with Dixons Carphone seeing strong performance in Greece and Spain in particular.

Dixons Carphone chief executive Seb James said: “Despite a lively political backdrop, we have been able to continue to grow our business and maintain very high levels of customer satisfaction across the group.

“Our full year like-for-like sales of four per cent for the year is pleasing across the group; in the last quarter, sales in the UK & Ireland were – especially in phone – impacted by the later launch of the iconic Samsung S8.

“Given our performance despite this headwind, our view is that the UK consumer continues to be active in the market, but we anticipate no let-up in their view that price and service are critical factors in deciding where to shop.”

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