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Ringing up profits

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Carphone Warehouse said today it is on track to split its business into retail and telecoms arms by early next year, and it expects profits to be higher than previously predicted.

For the six months ended 30 September the company made sales of £789m, up 13 per cent on last year. Profit after tax was £20m and CPW now expects earnings per share for the year to be between 14 and 15 pence per share - between £40m and £50m for the year.

Average Revenue Per User was £23.50, up four per cent, Arpu excluding Tiscali was £23.90, up six per cent.

CPW has 2.95m broadband customers on unbundled lines, excluding Tiscali it has 2.32m, up 14.5 per cent on last year. Just over half of Tiscali broadband customers are now on unbundled lines. The group now has 1,714 unbundled exchanges - covering some 80 per cent of the UK population.

Best Buy Europe brought in £1,674m, up four per cent on last year. It has 2,459 stores, after closing 63 and opening 63 over the year.

Best Buy Mobile - its US joint venture - now operates from 1,055 Best Buy Big Box stores and 52 standalone shops. Best Buy Europe got an £11m profit share from the business in the six months, up from £5m last year.

The company has appointed bankers to help it split the business. It will create two entities - Talk Talk Group PLC and Carphone Warehouse Group PLC made up of a 50 per cent stake in Best Buy Europe, 48.5 per cent of Virgin Mobile France and Carphone Property.

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