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Carphone Warehouse Connections Crush Expectations

Carphone Warehouse, Europe's biggest mobile retailer, beat forecasts on Wednesday with a 19.2% rise in second-quarter mobile phone connections and said it was confident about the
full-year outlook.

Of the 2.8 million total connections it now has, 1.1 million were subscription connections, reflecting a 9.3 percent increase in the quarter, while the rest were pre-pay or SIM-free phones.

Analysts had been expecting an increase in total connections of 13.3%, according to a company consensus.

It said it expected to report headline pre-tax profits of 53 to 56 million pounds ($107.6 million) for the first half.

The group added 89,000 broadband customers, to give it a total of 2.5 million. It unbundled 411,000 customers in the quarter to give it an on-net base of 1.4 million or 55% of the base.

Unbundling exchanges allows Carphone to control the service offered to the customer including speeds and prices and analysts had been keen to get an update on the unbundling rate.

It said it expects to add 200,000 to 250,000 broadband customers over the second half of the year.

Carphone, an independent retailer not attached to any mobile network, secured the UK distribution deal for Apple's iPhone earlier this year and the retailer said it expected to get a significant competitive advantage when it goes on sale in November.

"In our Distribution business, overall mobile connections growth remains very good and our market share is growing strongly," Chief Executive Charles Dunstone said in a statement.