Sales leap 62 per cent for Carphone Warehouse

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The Independent Online

Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has reported a 62 per cent increase in sales in its first financial report since it floated last summer.

Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has reported a 62 per cent increase in sales in its first financial report since it floated last summer.

The group, headed by founder Charles Dunstone, said turnover for the six months to September 23 had jumped from £277.3 million to £447.9 million.

Earnings rose by the same percentage to £17.1 million.

Mr Dunstone said the figures showed the group was delivering both accelerating growth and a significant increase in profitability.

He said Carphone Warehouse was now clearly the largest independent distributor of mobile phones and related services in Europe.

The group now has 1,009 stores, including 77 Tandy shops, spread across 14 countries, and is the leading independent in eight of these markets, he said.

Mr Dunstone added the group's underlying margins were improving.

Bottom-line pre-tax profits also showed a jump - although this was buoyed by a £13 million one-off profit, which included investment by US internet giant AOL into its internet portal Mviva, and came in at £17.4 million, against £6.6 million last time.

The group connected more than 1.4 million customers, an increase of 74 per cent on the same period last year, with growth coming from both subscription and pre-pay mobile sales.

The group's sales are split roughly 50:50 between subscription and pre-pay.

Carphone Warehouse added it had clocked up 30,000 users for its MViva portal, in the three months since its launch in June.

MViva, which is available in the UK and four other European countries, provides internet services direct to internet-enabled WAP phones, and offers content including news and weather from a range of 120 providers.

To boost its store numbers, Carphone invested £68.8 million in new shops, acquisitions and improving its operating systems.

It is in the process of converting the Tandy stores, which it bought last year, and has changed 100 stores to its Carphone format, while 17 are left to go.

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