Telecom retailer Dixons Carphone beat expectations with an 8% increase in first quarter like-for-like sales.

Fuelled by a 10% rise in UK and Ireland sales, the recently merged company, which also owns Currys and PC World, trumped market expectations for a 4% growth.

Sebastian James, the chief executive who was appointed after the merger, said the first quarter was encouraging. He told investors that the strong results in the UK and Ireland were driven by a significant market share gain in smartphone sales.

"Against the World Cup last year I was also pleased to see growth in UK electricals. At the same time, we have continued to see improvements in customer satisfaction and price competitiveness through the period and across all our major territories," said James. "Our Nordic business has also experienced decent growth overall against a slightly less buoyant market backdrop."

In July, the company reported a 20.6% jump in full year profit to £381m.

In August, the company slashed its Portugal division, Phonehouse, which had generated heavy losses caused by £8m of restructuring costs. Ahead of the sale of Phonehouse Portugal, the company disposed of its German subsidiary as it is continued to shift its focus away from Europe.

In Nordic countries, where Dixon Carphone runs tech retailer Elkjøp, the company's sales were up 4%. Southern European operations were flat in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

Alistair Davies, analyst at Investec, said the results marked a strong start of the year.

"The company continues to take [market]share as it invests in building its market leading positions. Good underlying momentum should bode well for the group heading into the peak Christmas period," he said.