Bouygues Telecom has improved its earnings outlook for 2015 as it announced a loss for the first six months of the year.

EBITDA is forecast to rise to €750 million this year, up from a previously stable outlook of €694 million, and Bouygues said it would “significantly outstrip” a savings target of €300 million next year.

Earnings rose seven percent to €323 million in H1, while margins improved 1.5 percentage points to 17.1 percent.

Although it continued to make an operating loss, this improved by €17 million to €54 million thanks to what Bouygues described as “tight control” of marketing and operating costs.

However, the company made a net loss of €66 million versus profits of €5 million 12 months ago.

Sales fell one percent to €2.15 billion, though Bouygues said that figure was stabilising.

Capex was up 12.5 percent to €380 million.

Martin Bouygues, Chairman and CEO of the Bouygues Group, offered no update on how things stood between the operator and Numericable-SFR owner Altice.

In June, the company rejected a €10 billion takeover bid by Altice on the grounds that it is on the verge of turning its business around.

This week, it emerged that Bouygues Telecom has filed a lawsuit against the cableco for a breach of contract related to a fibre wholesale deal in 2009.

The CEO said: “The Group’s business segments are reinventing themselves to seize all opportunities on their markets. We are beginning to see the first positive effects of that transformation.”

Bouygues added 312,000 mobile customers during the first half of the year, giving it total of 11.4 million mobile customers at the end of June.

The operator said an increasing number of customers were being attracted to its 4G plans; it had 4.1 million 4G customers at end-June, representing 42 percent of its mobile base.

The company added 160,000 mobile and 174,000 fixed broadband subscribers during the period, meaning its total customer base broke through the 14 million barrier.

 

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