Carphone is boosted by Best Buy deal

CARPHONE Warehouse raised its profit forecasts yesterday – fuelled by its joint venture with US electrical giant Best Buy.

It said it expected net profit for the year to the end of March to be about £47m, above the £40-£45m it indicated in January.

The company is preparing for the opening of its first joint venture superstore in Lakeside, Essex, on Friday after a successful tie-up in the US. Carphone, Europe’s biggest independent mobile phone retailer, said it was also benefiting from surging demand for smartphones like Apple’s iPhone.

Chairman Charles Dunstone said: “We’re really at the start of a big change in the cycle of the marketplace where all consumers now feel that a mobile phone really is genuinely more than just sending texts and making calls.

“The macro environment will undoubtedly present challenges but we are well positioned in each of our businesses and we are targeting 40 to 45 per cent EPS [earnings per share] growth for our 2011 financial year.”

Carphone and Best Buy plan to open other “Big Box” stores in the UK, with Croydon and Aintree among areas earmarked. Carphone, which demerged its telecoms arm TalkTalk last month, saw like-for-like revenues at the group’s European business.up three per cent in the final quarter.

Meanwhile customer connections at Best Buy Mobile were up 34 per cent.