Mobile phone operator Vodafone wants to end a three-year exclusive deal with Phones 4U and return to Carphone Warehouse.

According to reports, Vodafone is understood to be planning to re-open talks with Carphone Warehouse within the next few weeks to get its contract offering back into its stores.

Vodafone UK chief executive Guy Lawrence admitted to the Guardian that the operator’s decision to sign an exclusive deal with third-party mobile phone retailer Phones 4U in October 2006 had not worked.

He said: “It was a decision we took some time ago in the hope that it would provide some kind of changes in the overall distribution pattern in the UK. That did not happen.”

Vodafone said yesterday that it expected profits to be flat at best this year after it was forced to wipe £5.9bn from the value of its Spanish, Turkish and Ghanaian businesses. Annual pre-tax profits more than halved to £4.2bn.