Carphone loss widens for Best Buy U.K. joint venture

London -- U.K. mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse Group PLC reported Tuesday that its loss for its Best Buy U.K. joint venture widened to $102 million in the year to March 31, compared with a loss of $34 million in the prior year. CEO Roger Taylor has warned analysts to expect further losses of between $82 million and $98 million this year.

Carphone announced its joint venture with Best Buy Co. in July 2008, announcing plans to open as many as 200 big boxes across Europe by 2013 under the Best Buy U.K. name. That target has already shrunk to 100, and only 10 stores have opened so far -- all in the United Kingdom -- with just one more in the pipeline this year.

Taylor had indicated earlier that he would deliver a strategy update on the loss-making business on Tuesday, but he said the company will instead continue to evaluate its next steps for the business over the summer.

Carphone Warehouse Group comprises a 50% joint venture with Best Buy Europe and a separate joint venture with Virgin, Virgin Mobile France. Best Buy Europe comprises CPW Europe, the region's largest mobile phone retailer; a profit share in Best Buy's mobile phone retail operations in the United States; and Best Buy U.K.

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