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Snook leaving Carphone

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Former Orange chief Hans Snook is stepping down from Carphone Warehouse from July. The former chief exec of mobilephoneco Orange joined Carphone as chairman in 2002 and has seen pre-tax profit rise from £46.8m to £76.3m during his tenure.

The retiring Snook will be replaced as chairman by non-exec director John Gildersleeve.

News of Snook's departure coincided with the release of it latest trading update which revealed that Carphone is still growing strongly.

Overall the number of connections it signed up during the three months to the end of March was up 16.6 per cent to 1.68 million. The number of customers on its fixed line telecoms service TalkTalk UK grew by 158,000 to 920,000 in the quarter, while its mobile customer base grew by 14.6 per cent to 2.26 m, although this was mainly driven by continued strong growth at The Phone House Telecom in Germany.

Its residential broadband service, launched last November, has now notched up almost 50,000 punters and is "well ahead of [Carphone's] original expectations". If the current pace of take-up continues then Carphone could have as many as 150,000 broadband punters by March 2006.

Looking ahead, the company is planning to open even more stores and remains "confident of continued strong performance".

Said chief exec Charles Dunstone in a statement: "We have achieved strong connections growth despite exceptional trading in the comparative period. We anticipate that full year profits will be at the upper end of market forecasts, and are excited about the investment and growth opportunities in the coming year."

Shares in Carphone were up 2p (1.23 per cent) at 165p in early morning trading. ®

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