Carphone Warehouse third-quarter sales beat forecasts

LONDON Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:07am GMT

A Carphone Warehouse sign hangs outside a branch in west London May 8, 2009. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A Carphone Warehouse sign hangs outside a branch in west London May 8, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Carphone Warehouse CPW.L, Europe's biggest independent mobile phone retailer, beat sales growth forecasts at its main CPW Europe business, with strong demand for smartphones and tablets in the UK more than offsetting weakness in France.

Despite beating sales forecasts the firm said it would not be changing earnings guidance as it had invested in margins to drive revenue.

Sales at CPW Europe stores open over a year rose 7.8 percent in the three months to December 31, Carphone's fiscal third quarter.

That compared with analysts' consensus forecast for a like-for-like rise of 4 percent, according to a company poll, and a 5 percent rise in the second quarter.

UK like-for-like revenue was up 16 percent but flat in mainland Europe, with France "particularly challenging".

Carphone's Virgin Mobile France (VMF) joint venture posted revenue growth of 9.9 percent on a constant currency basis.

Carphone reiterated EPS guidance for the 2012-13 year at 11.5-13.0 pence, with a narrowed range for headline earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 135-145 million pounds ($214-$230 million) for CPW Europe. ($1 = 0.6313 British pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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