* Promotes Andrew Harrison to CEO
* Current CEO Roger Taylor to be deputy chairman
* FY headline EPS 12.3 pence vs guidance 11.5-13 pence
* Forecasts 2013-14 EPS of 17-20 pence
* Shares rise up to 3.7 percent
By James Davey
LONDON, June 26 Carphone Warehouse
founder and chairman Charles Dunstone will be more involved in
day-to-day management after its move to take control of a
European retail venture, it said on Wednesday, as it also
promoted Andrew Harrison to become chief executive.
Europe's biggest independent mobile phone retailer agreed in
April to buy back U.S. group Best Buy's stake in its CPW
Europe retail business for 471 million pounds ($726 million).
"We've got Charles more on the pitch on the back of the
acquisition. Clearly he was a bit more removed from the business
in the days of the joint venture," current chief executive Roger
Taylor told Reuters.
Carphone said Harrison, a company veteran of 17 years and
the current boss of CPW Europe, would take on the CEO role at
the annual investors' meeting on July 24. Taylor will switch to
deputy chairman, but will keep many existing responsibilities.
Taylor said the Best Buy deal meant Carphone's retail
operation formed the core of the group's business, making
Harrison's promotion a logical step. "I think for the business
it's a net positive for everyone," he said.
Dunstone, who founded Carphone in 1989 and has a 26 percent
stake, is widely admired by investors, not least for his move to
sell a stake in the firm to Best Buy for over 1 billion pounds
in 2008 and then buy it back for less than half that price.
Carphone shares, up 59 percent over the last year, rose up
to 3.7 percent on Wednesday after it met earnings guidance for
2012-13 and forecast a rise of up to 62 percent in earnings for
the 2013-14 year - boosted by the acquisition.
"The transformational deal to buy out Best Buy's 50 percent
stake in the core business for just 471 million pounds (which
completed on Tuesday) will deliver astonishing EPS accretion
this year," said independent retail analyst Nick Bubb.
Carphone said headline earnings per share (EPS) were 12.3
pence in the year to March 31. Though that was in line with
company guidance of 11.5 pence to 13.0 pence, it was down from
12.6 pence made in the 2011-12 year.
Despite the squeeze on consumers' disposable income the firm
won market share in Britain in both the postpay and prepay
segments of the mobile phone market and saw strong demand for
smartphones and tablet computers.
For 2013-14 the firm forecast headline EPS of 17 pence to 20
pence, with headline earnings before interest and tax at CPW
Europe of 140-160 million pounds, up from 137 million in
Carphone also said it was formalising relationships with
Media Markt/Saturn and Metro Group in the Netherlands
and Germany respectively.
In the Netherlands, where Carphone has been trialing stores
with Media Markt/Saturn for a year, both parties have signed a
letter of intent and will now negotiate a full commercial deal.
In Germany, Carphone plans a deal with Metro that will see
stores-within-a-store opened under the Makro/Metro Cash & Carry,
Real and Galeria Kaufhof brands.
Carphone said similar deals in other European markets would
Shares in Carphone, which is paying a maintained full year
dividend of 5 pence, were up 4.8 pence at 243.25 pence at 1000
GMT, valuing the business at about 1.2 billion pounds.