Carphone relies on tablet sales

STRONG demand for smartphones and tablet computers is helping Carphone Warehouse, Europe’s biggest independent mobile phone retailer, to cope with generally subdued consumer spending, it said yesterday.

The group, which owns 50 per cent of a venture with US electricals group Best Buy, said sales at European stores open more than a year fell 3.3 per cent in the first quarter, ahead of analysts’ forecast for a 4.75 per cent decline. The company said high priced accessories were being hit.