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Virgin Mobile cock-a-hoop at Xmas sales

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Virgin Mobile is trilling louder than an annoying ringtone after notching up record Christmas sales.

The mobile phone group attracted more than 250,000 new customers in the three months to December - an increase of more than 50 per cent against the previous quarter.

And with almost 1.5 million customers the company now expects to start trading profitably early this year.

In a statement, Virgin Mobile's Sir Richard Branson said: "This is a fantastic end to 2001, our second year of trading, and a great beginning of 2002.

"We have continually outperformed market trends, despite not having pursued a dramatically-subsidised pricing policy in order to attract customers," he said.

If only everyone could be as cheery at the start of the new year. Cellphone retailer, Carphone Warehouse, saw its share price dip some ten per cent per cent earlier this week after a report claimed that sales of mobiles had plummeted in the run-up to Christmas.

Carphone Warehouse's share price has recovered slightly since then. It's due to publish its Christmas trading statement on January 23. ®

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