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Business News

Carphone rings in a bumper Christmas

Britain's continued love affair with the mobile phone helped Carphone Warehouse exceed revenue expectations in the third quarter, with like-for-like sales up 27.7 per cent.

Charles Dunstone, the chief executive, said in a trading update yesterday he expected growth to continue for the rest of the year as the favourable conditions of the past year continued in 2004.

"I think our comparisons make its increasingly difficult to deliver figures of this scale but there will be good growth this year," Mr Dunstone said. "The environment that created the great market before Christmas hasn't changed. Competition between handset manufacturers and network operators is stimulating the market. You then have the launch of third generation services in October from the likes of Vodafone which will further boost the market."

The company saw a 15.6 per cent growth in like-for-like gross profits during the third quarter from its shops while the number of people using Carphone Warehouse to get themselves connected rose 25.7 per cent to 1.67m.

Monthly subscription contracts rose 30.1 per cent to 690,000; pre-pay contracts increased 33 per cent to 860,000. Mr Dunstone said he was confident of signing up more than 350,000 subscribers to Carphone's new TalkTalk fixed-line service by the end of March.