Carphone silent on Dixons talks as sales rise
LONDON, April 29
LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - Carphone Warehouse, Europe's biggest independent mobile phone retailer currently in merger talks with Dixons Retail, reiterated full-year earnings guidance and posted a rise in fourth quarter revenue at its main CPW business.
The firm's trading update on Tuesday made no mention of the talks with Dixons, Europe's No. 2 electricals retailer, for a possible 4 billion pounds ($6.72 billion) merger.
Britain's Takeover Panel has imposed a May 19 deadline for the two firms to confirm whether they intend to press ahead with a deal that would create a group with about 2,900 stores across Europe and which it is expected would find a place in Britain's FTSE 100 share index.
Carphone said sales at CPW Group stores open over a year rose 2.3 percent in the three months to March 29 - a seventh straight quarter of like-for-like growth.
That compares to third quarter like-for-like growth of 3.1 percent.
However, the firm said its Virgin Mobile France joint venture lost 17,000 postpay customers in the quarter to stand at 1.3 million customers, while revenue fell 8.6 percent.
Carphone reiterated its full-year guidance for headline earnings per share of 17-20 pence, up from 12.3 pence in the 2012-13 year.
It narrowed guidance for CPW's pro-forma headline earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), forecasting 145-155 million pounds compared to 140-160 million pounds previously.
Shares in Carphone, up 60 percent over the last year, closed Monday at 307 pence, valuing the business at 1.77 billion pounds ($2.98 billion). ($1 = 0.5950 British Pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)