Aug 2 (Reuters) - French conglomerate Bouygues
reported better than expected first-half core profit on Tuesday
and raised its telecoms division's targets for the full year.
The construction, telecoms and media group posted current
operating profit - operating profit excluding exceptional costs
mainly related to merger and acquisition activity - of 492
million euros ($505 million) for the six months to June 30. That
beat a median forecast of 409 million euros in an analyst poll
compiled by the company.
The group now expects Bouygues Telecom's earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) after
leases to increase by more than 8% in 2022, having previously
projected growth of about 7%.
Bouygues Telecom also changed its target of 5% growth in
sales from services to more than 5% growth in sales billed to
customers, which it said was "more representative of its
Sales in construction and services, which accounted for 74%
of Bouygues' revenue, were up 7% to 13.72 billion euros, mainly
driven by its Colas subsidiary.
Colas recorded sales of 6.52 billion euros over the period
but its current operating result was down 60% year-on-year to a
loss of 160 million euros.
Bouygues' net profit (group share) came in at 147 million
euros, including costs related to a planned merger between its
TV arm TF1 and rival M6 and the acquisition
of energy services group Equans.
That was down 64% from the first six months of last year,
when net profit was boosted by the sale of several data centres
and of shares in trainmaker Alstom.
In the second half, Bouygues expects another 45 million
euros in costs linked to M&A, CEO Olivier Roussat told
TF1 and Bouygues last week said that the French competition
authority had concerns about the proposed merger of TF1 and M6.
On Equans, the company is awaiting the decision of the UK
competition watchdog, which said on Tuesday it would consider
Shares in Bouygues were up 0.82% at 0936 GMT while Colas had
($1 = 0.9738 euros)
(Reporting by Valentine Baldassari and Elitsa Gadeva
Editing by Christian Schmollinger, David Goodman and Louise