Carphone sees earnings at top end of forecasts

Carphone Warehouse, Europe's biggest mobile phone retailer, expects full-year earnings at the top end of forecasts, driven by a strong performance at its U.S. joint venture, it said on Tuesday.

The group, which owns 50 percent of a venture with U.S. electricals retailer Best Buy as well as a 47.5 percent stake in Virgin Mobile France, said earnings would be at the top end of a range of 13.5 to 14.0 pence a share.

Revenues at European stores open at least a year rose 0.7 percent in the 13 weeks to January 1, the third quarter of its financial year, just below analysts' average forecast of a 1 percent rise, according to a company poll.

However, connections at Best Buy Mobile U.S. were up 33.6 percent, above the forecast increase of 25 percent, and Carphone said its share of full-year profit from the venture would be 90m-100m, compared with its previous estimate of 85m-95m.