The world’s second-largest construction group Bouygues SA has announced a 26% leap in profits for the third quarter of 2003, led by gains at its telecoms unit Bouygues Télécom. Net income for the three months to 30 September 2003 reached EUR211 million from EUR167 million twelve months before. Bouygues Télécom, France’s third-largest cellco, accounted for 15.2% of sales as its own profits for the first nine months of the year near-doubled, from EUR79 million to EUR131 million, and its customer base grew to 6.2 million, from 5.64 million at the start of the year. The results were a significant turnaround for the cellco, following a poor year in 2002 when it lost 9% of its customer base. Whilst it continues to lag behind its rivals Orange and SFR with a 15.5% share of total subscribers, Bouygues boasts the lowest percentage of pre-paid customers – just 35.7% (down from 38% at the start of the year) – emphasising its commitment to chasing the higher revenue corporate segment. The cellco also has more than 300,000 users of its mobile internet service i-mode, launched under licence from Japan’s NTT DoCoMo in November 2002.