French telecom giant Bouygues sees profits fall

Adam Hignett
Bouyges Telekom had a team in the Tour de France until 2010
French conglomerate Bouygues saw profits slide as increasing competition in its telecoms market and unfavour­able economic conditions in France took their toll, full-year results revealed yesterday.

Bouygues Telecom is France’s third largest mobile operator with more than 11m subscribers. However, it has seen a decline in subscribers in recent years, losing 22,000 last year.

That prompted the firm to announce a 15 per cent cut to its 9,000 strong workforce in an effort to remain competitive and slash costs in the wake of a vicious price war in the sector. The company has expanded its discounts in mobile services to television, internet and fixed-line packages, sometimes undercutting rivals by as much as €10 (£7.35) a month.

It also registered a decline in its construction sector, where new orders fell by two per cent on the previous year and a sharp decline in the French road market saw profits in the sector fall despite a slight increase in sales.

Overall, group revenues were flat on the year at £24.2bn, while the full-year operating profit was £651m down from £967m the previous year, but broadly in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Martin Bouygues, chairman and chief executive, said: “I’m con­fi­dent in the ability of each of the group’s business segments to reinvent itself in order to seize the opportunities in its markets and return to growth in 2016.”

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