Bouygues’ bottom line boosted by telecoms unit

26 Feb 2004

French industrial and telecoms conglomerate Bouygues yesterday reported revenues of EUR21.82 billion for 2003, down 2% from the previous year, but said net profit rose by 41% to EUR450 million on a pro-forma basis, thanks to a robust performance from its telecoms division. Sales at Bouygues Télécom, which operates France’s third largest mobile network with a market share of around 15%, rose by 12% to EUR3.27 billion, with operating profits climbing by 51% to EUR460 million and net income by a similar margin to EUR146 million. Operating margins at Bouygues Télécom rose from 31.5% to 33.2%, and EBITDA reached EUR1 billion. The unit added around 820,000 new mobile subscribers in 2003 to take its total to around 6.45 million, 65% of which are post-paid customers. Bouygues, which during 2003 increased its stake in its telecoms subsidiary from 62% to 73%, has forecast overall group sales to EUR22.4 billion in 2004, with the financial contribution from its telecoms operations expected to rise by 8% to EUR3.53 billion.