The Call of the Wireless

"Winning's fun, isn't it?" asks Charles Dunstone, founder and CEO of the Carphone Warehouse. Winning? What game is he playing? The wireless sector these days looks like a loser. Network operators are saddled with debt. Mobile-phone makers are issuing earnings warnings and selling off factories. The Carphone Warehouse's own stock is down 40% since listing last year, dogged by persistent — and, according to Dunstone, groundless — rumors about profit shortfalls.

Still, he seems to be smiling. That's probably because, stock price aside, the Carphone Warehouse, Europe's largest mobile-phone retailer, is also its healthiest. Pretax profits were up 62%...

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