Carphone Warehouse said that confidence for the coming year is “as high as it has ever been” as the retailer pinpointed signs of “stability” in the banking sector and consumer confidence.
Carphone Warehouse chief financial officer Roger Taylor said: “The banks are open for business again.”
The retailer is negotiating £925m of credit facilities with its banks – with a view to completing the process within nine months of securing a funding plan – after confirming this week that it will demerge its Talk Talk telecoms and Best Buy Europe retail operations into two separately listed companies.
Taylor believes the change in the banks’ mindset happened only in the past month. “I think banks have better visibility of their balance sheet,” he said. “I think there is more available credit than there was previously, although undoubtedly banks will look for higher returns.”
Carphone Warehouse revealed a robust set of fourth-quarter results this week and said it would meet expectations for the year to March.
Taylor added: “We are seeing an environment where disposable income has been higher than it has ever been. Consumer confidence looks to have bottomed out.”
He said the major factor affecting consumer confidence related to unemployment but that “a lot of that has already happened”.
However, he added that although personal, corporate and macro-economic factors may have stabilised it could be 12 months before such factors resulted in an upturn.
Carphone Warehouse will open five big-box format stores with its joint venture retail partner Best Buy in early 2010.