The French construction to telecoms group Bouygues reported operating profit of EUR387 million (USD603.6 million) for the three months ending 31 March 2008, up 14% from EUR339 million a year ago, and broadly in line with market expectations. The group said its first-quarter performance was bolstered by a number of sizeable infrastructure contracts and ‘resilient margins’ at its telecoms division. Bouygues Telecom generated operating profit of EUR229 million in the period under review, while EBITDA margins were virtually unchanged at 33.7%. Group net profit for the January-March period was EUR224 million (4%). Bouygues Telecom invested EUR130 million in the first three months of the year, 53% higher than in the first quarter of 2007, due to the accelerated build out of its 3.5G HSPA network. The unit’s Q1 sales reached EUR1.2 billion, up 6.8% year-on-year, as the operator’s unlimited call plans proved popular – fuelling sales from network operations to EUR1.124 billion. At 31 March 2008 Bouygues Telecom had 9.307 million mobile customers, including 6.869 million contract customers (73.8% of its customer base, up 1.4 points year-on-year).