Profits at Phones 4u’s parent, MobileServ, fell by 58% to £13.73m last year, compared with £32.66m in 2008, according to reports.
The company blamed the especially challenging retail environment, while new filings at Companies House showed the business was also affected by its failure to secure the rights to sell the iPhone, the Telegraph said.
Doubts have now been cast over whether Phones 4u’s private equity owner will be able to sell the company as planned.
John Caudwell sold the company to Providence Equity Partners in 2006 as part of a £1.5bn deal. It is understood Providence is working with Deutsche Bank towards a sale for as much as £800m.
The company is understood to have received a couple of approaches of interest within the past month.
Operators and retailers in a related or parallel market are tipped as the likeliest contenders. Likely bidders include Vodafone, DSGi and Game Group, industry experts said.