Carphone Warehouse Says Earnings Seen at Top End of Forecasts

Carphone Warehouse Group Plc, a U.K. mobile-phone retailer, said full-year earnings will be at the top end of its forecasts and raised guidance again for Best Buy Europe’s profit share.

Earnings per share are expected to be at the “top end” of the previously stated range of 13.5 pence to 14 pence a share, the London-based company said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. Guidance for Best Buy Europe’s profit share from Best Buy Mobile U.S. was raised to a range of 90 million pounds ($144 million) to 100 million pounds, from 85 million pounds to 90 million pounds previously.

“We’ve had another good quarter,” Chief Executive Officer Roger Taylor said in today’s statement. “The online launch at Best Buy U.K. has gone well, adding to the strong customer satisfaction with our big box stores.” The company said U.K. sales helped “offset tough economic conditions in a number of continental European markets,” and it remains “cautious on the economic environment across Europe.”

Carphone consists of a 50 percent stake in Best Buy Europe, which it operates jointly with Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer Best Buy Co., a 47.5 percent stake in mobile-phone company Virgin Mobile France and several property assets. Best Buy Europe is the continent’s largest mobile-phone retailer, with more than 2,400 stores in nine countries. It also has a profit-sharing agreement with Best Buy Mobile, which runs stores in the U.S.

The company began opening “big-box” electronic stores in the U.K. last April and in November started a website for its Best Buy U.K. unit to boost sales. A growth in the sales of smartphones in the U.S. has helped boost revenue for the retailer. The launch of Best Buy U.K. online has had a “strong performance to date,” and the planned expansion of Big Box stores continues, Carphone Warehouse said today.

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