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Carphone Warehouse banks on US, iPhone to lift H2

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Carphone Warehouse shrugged off any taint of economic gloom this morning as it predicted its second half will be buoyed by US expansion and the launch of new products like the iPhone in the UK.

The mobile phone chain/operator/broadband provider struck its bullish stance as it unveiled first half results that showed revenues of £2.1bn, up from 1.8bn last year.

It trumpeted “headline profit before tax” of £56m, compared to £14m last year. However, once amortisation of acquisition intangibles and reorganisation costs were run through the figures, it made £9.6m pre-tax, compared to last year’s £4.7m loss after amortisation.

The “outlook for continued growth is good” the firm declared, with “considerable scope” for expansion in both Europe and the US. In the short term, it said, the iPhone launch (6pm tomorrow, in case you hadn’t heard) and the “mass adoption” of mobile data services will stimulate growth. CPW’s distribution business – that’s mainly stores – continued to account for the lion’s share of its business, at £1.5bn, and earnings before interest and tax of £56m. UK fixed line took in £697m, with EBIT of £39m.

Residential pulled in £542m, up 72 per cent. AOL accounted for £196m of this.

CPW said it added 215,000 net broadband customers in the period, taking the total to 2.5 million. Broadband customers on its own, unbundled, network grew 675,000 to 1.4 million.

Beyond Europe, the firm said it had formalised its agreement with US chain Best Buy, and will roll out its Best Buy Mobile outlets from the current 70 to 1,000 stories. Best Buy has been mentioned as a possible acquirer for CPW. CPW has brought Best Buy’s Geek Squad to the UK, and said it will roll the concept out to Spain in the new year, then to other countries.

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