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Carphone results flat but outlook unchanged

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Carphone Warehouse increased retail revenues by 13 per cent for the 13 weeks ended 29 December 2007, but saw a like-for-like increase of just one per cent.

Speaking during an analyst's call this morning, the firm denied that footfall from the iPhone had artificially buoyed results.

Looking forward over the next 12 months, chief executive Charles Dunstone predicted flat like-for-like mobile sales but improving broadband sales.

Retail revenues were £650m while UK fixed line business grew 36 per cent to £349m. Retail like-for-like gross profit grew 3.1 per cent. CPW added 118,000 net broadband customers giving it a total of 2.6m, of these 61 per cent, or 1.6m (221,000 of them new customers) were on unbundled lines.

The company opened 86 new stores, giving it a total of 2,423.

The distribution business grew revenues by nine per cent to £900m. Business-to-business revenues fell by nine per cent to £77m.

CPW's pre-pay business was "a little more subdued" but the firm was unwilling to speculate whether this was down to consumers tightening their belts or more people moving to subscription services. Sales of data cards and USB dongles remained strong - sales in the period were restricted by supply.

By the end of the March the company expects increases in unbundled lines to mean it has no loss-making customers.

The company refused to comment on iPhone sales, but said it did help drive footfall into stores.

In the US CPW is running a joint venture with Best Buy. It now has 181 Best Buy stores with concessions and eight standalone stores - it is on track to cover the entire US portfolio by the end of 2009.

CPW shares on the London Stock Exchange were down just over one per cent on the news.

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