The Carphone Warehouse Group plc has published an interim management statement for the third quarter of its current financial year. It says its business in Europe performed strongly on post-pay (‘pay monthly’ deals) and non-cellular products, although a weakness in the lower-value prepay market resulted in like-for-like revenue being down by 4.7% when compared with the previous year.
A reduction in network subsidies, a lack of smartphone products and a weak consumer environment are all blamed for the weak low-end prepay market, with the UK's prepay market estimated to be down between 35% and 40% in Q3.
Overall, figures for the full year are expected to be in line with previous guidance.
The company also noted that the sale of its interest in Best Buy Mobile US had been approved by shareholders. All eleven Best Buy UK stores have been closed, along with Best Buy UK online, and ‘credible alternative roles’ have been offered to almost all staff who wanted to remain within the business.
Roger Taylor, CEO of Carphone Warehouse, said “CPW Europe has performed strongly on postpay sales and is now benefiting from the improved profitability of its new postpay commercial terms. In addition, we achieved 15% growth in our non-cellular revenues, with the sale of tablets and other devices accelerating. As expected, the prepay segment remains weak, with a significant decline in low-end prepay sales year-on-year. We remain well-placed to benefit from continued consumer enthusiasm for connected technology, and as such we are accelerating the roll-out of our Wireless World stores to meet this demand and deliver a strong service proposition that complements this segment of the consumer electronics market. As with all retailers, we face a tough consumer backdrop, but our customers value our proposition and we are capitalising on the strong product cycle in smartphones and non-cellular categories, where we continue to broaden our range. With confidence in our future, we are reiterating our guidance for this year's Headline earnings.”