LONDON Jan 24 Carphone Warehouse,
Europe's biggest independent mobile phone retailer, beat sales
growth forecasts at its main CPW Europe business, with strong
demand for smartphones and tablets in the UK more than
offsetting weakness in France.
Despite beating sales forecasts the firm said it would not
be changing earnings guidance as it had invested in margins to
Sales at CPW Europe stores open over a year rose 7.8 percent
in the three months to Dec. 31, Carphone's fiscal third quarter.
That compared with analysts' consensus forecast for a
like-for-like rise of 4 percent, according to a company poll,
and a 5 percent rise in the second quarter.
UK like-for-like revenue was up 16 percent but flat in
mainland Europe, with France "particularly challenging".
Carphone's Virgin Mobile France (VMF) joint venture posted
revenue growth of 9.9 percent on a constant currency basis.
Carphone reiterated EPS guidance for the 2012-13 year at
11.5-13.0 pence, with a narrowed range for headline earnings
before interest and tax (EBIT) of 135-145 million pounds
($214-$230 million) for CPW Europe.