French mobile operator Bouygues Telecom reported a 6% increase in sales for the first six months of this year to EUR2.625 billion (USD3.743 billion), but net profit fell 13% year-on-year to EUR268 million. Sales from network services climbed 5% to EUR2.407 billion although EBITDA contracted 7% to EUR702 million a fact Bouygues attributed to strong competition, development costs for the fixed line business and tax charges. First-half investments fell to EUR285 million as the operator stepped down its CAPEX after a peak in 2008. Last year the operator had ramped up its 3G+ network rollout and acquired a DSL network. Bouygues has accelerated the deployment of its 3G HSPA networks and covered 77% of the
French population at end June 2009 – well ahead of the stipulation it achieve 75% coverage by end-2010. Bouygues currently offers 3G HSPA coverage in all major cities and most cities of over 5,000 inhabitants.
Bouygues Telecom claimed an ‘excellent commercial performance’ in the first half of 2009, adding 300,000 new mobile customers compared to 62,000 in the same period of 2008 — or a 33% share of net market growth. As at 30 June the operator counted 9.894 million mobile customers. In the fixed line segment, Bouygues hit the ground running, activating 125,000 Bbox routers, of which 55,000 were switched on in the second quarter alone.