LONDON, June 14 Carphone Warehouse,
Europe's biggest independent mobile phone retailer, said
earnings before interest and tax at its key European unit came
in at the low end of its expectations, and forecast a slight
rise in 2013.
The group said earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at
the European unit were 135 million pounds ($210.4 million) in
the year to the end of March, unchanged versus the previous year
and at the bottom of the company's 135-150 million pound
Revenues at the division were 5.5 percent lower at 3.3
It forecast headline EBIT of 130-150 for the full year 2013.
European retailers are suffering as rising prices, subdued
growth in wages, government austerity measures and worries about
the eurozone debt crisis hurt consumer spending.
"Looking ahead, we expect the consumer environment in Europe
to remain difficult, but we see opportunities as well as
challenges and we are confident in our strategic positioning and
operational execution," Chief Executive Roger Taylor said in a
Revenue at the group's Virgin Mobile France unit grew 18.8
percent to 390.2 million pounds. The group said the French unit
had shown itself to be "very robust" in the face of increased
competition - Iliad launched its Free Mobile in January.
The group said it would pay a 3.25 pence final dividend,
taking its full-year dividend to 5 pence.