Carphone Warehouse Group, Europe’s largest mobile phone retailer, said revenue rose 32% in its fiscal third quarter ending 30 December 2006, driven by strong demand for the company’s TalkTalk fixed line and broadband service. Sales climbed to GBP1.08 billion (USD2.1 billion) from GBP820.5 million a year earlier; revenue from fixed line services more than doubled to GBP286.5 million. Retail revenue at the company, which had 2,070 stores across Europe at the end of 2006, increased 20% in the quarter to represent 53% of the group total.
Carphone Warehouse began offering free broadband internet access with its fixed line services in early 2006 in an attempt to lure subscribers from BT and NTL. In October the company raised its cost estimate for adding the broadband service by 40% to GBP70 million after signing up more customers than it expected. By the end of the period, Carphone reported that it had a presence in 569 unbundled exchanges with a further 52 added with the acquisition of Time Warner’s AOL UK unit, agreed in October. Carphone said it now has 632,000 TalkTalk broadband subscribers, including 132,000 using its own exchanges. The AOL acquisition increased the total number of broadband customers to 2.16 million, it said.