Carphone to unveil TalkTalk chief

Profit upgrade as retailer reveals it has found CEO for broadband operation

Carphone Warehouse is close to unveiling the chief executive who will oversee the TalkTalk broadband division, which is on track to demerge in March.

The group chief executive Charles Dunstone said yesterday: "We've found a chief executive, and we have signed the contracts." He declined to name the appointment yet as discussions are ongoing with the incoming executive's current employer over the timing of the announcement. The mystery will be revealed "early next year".

The demerger of Carphone – which will include the assets from its 50:50 joint venture with the US retail giant Best Buy, its stake in Virgin Mobile France and Carphone property – from TalkTalk is on course for the spring. The structure has been finalised with two separately listed businesses.

Yesterday's news came off the back of strong results for the six months to the end of September, as pre-tax profits soared 88 per cent to £75m. Europe's largest mobile phone retailer beat analysts' profit forecasts of £70m in the first half of its financial year, following better than expected sales from both sides of the business. It prompted the company to raise its earnings guidance for its full year from 14p per share to 15p.

The finance director Roger Taylor, who will become chief executive of Carphone Warehouse Plc after the split, with Mr Dunstone becoming chairman of both companies, said he was "quietly confident" for Christmas sales. The iPhone is expected to see further strong sales, especially after it became available on Orange as well as O2. But Mr Taylor said it would be a "pre-pay Christmas". He expects Carphone to shift more smartphones, as the price on pre-pay has come down. "There are a lot of touch screen devices that have come down to pre-pay prices."

The group is bulking up over Christmas and into the new year, and is expected to add a further 500 staff to its 8,000-strong workforce. Mr Taylor said: "We aim to get up to around 10,000 in the next few years."

The joint venture with Best Buy is set to hit the UK in earnest with the launch of four "Big Box" electrical stores by spring, and a further four in the autumn. The group expects to hit 100 stores by 2014.

Carphone has also made progress in broadband. It bought the UK assets of the Italian telecom operator Tiscali for £235m in July, bringing its customers to 4.1 million from 2.7 million a year earlier. Mr Dunstone said the deal had "significantly increased our residential broadband base and enhanced our earnings per share". He added that the group had made a good start on integrating the acquisition. In January, it will rebrand the Tiscali assets to TalkTalk. It hopes the name change and investment in its network will prevent the churn of customers leaving.

Richard Heap, head of telecoms at the accountancy group BDO, said: "This is undoubtedly a good set of results. Carphone Warehouse has significantly strengthened its broadband customer base by adding customers through the acquisition of Tiscali." Yet, he cautioned: "The long-term question remains as to whether or not TalkTalk can retain this leadership position in an oversaturated market, particularly with new threats such as mobile and satellite broadband emerging." Carphone is also looking at bolstering its television service. The Tiscali deal brought a small TV operation, but the group is looking to do more. Mr Dunstone said: "We are looking at the market place and considering our options."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksNow available in paperback
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas