Carphone looks beyond boundaries

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Carphone Warehouse, Europe’s biggest independent mobile phone retailer, said it is seeking international partners to expand outside its core markets in Britain and France where consumers are under pressure and economic growth is muted.

The London-listed company said continued weakness in the lower-value pre-pay mobile phone market hit its sales in the fourth quarter, driving like-for-like revenue 5.5 per cent lower.

Carphone said it would still meet forecasts for 2011-12 earnings.

“We expect to deliver full year profits for CPW Europe in line with guidance, despite the market shift from 18 to 24-month contracts, a material decline in the prepay market and a tough consumer environment,” said Roger Taylor, chief executive of Carphone Warehouse.

He added the company is now looking to expand in markets like China, Latin America and Eastern Europe, seeking similar agreements to its Global Connect venture with US retailer Best Buy.