Bouygues Telecom made a net profit of €11 million in 2013, after a €14 million loss last year, but revenues fell 11 percent year-on-year to €4.7 billion due to the intense price war in the French market.
The operator revealed it lost 108,000 mobile customers last year, leaving it with 11.1 million in total, as customers went to low-cost rivals.
However, it said there was growth in the number of customers signing up to “high value-added plans” and “close to” 10 percent of its mobile customer base are now on 4G LTE plans following the launch of the next generation network in October last year.
Meanwhile, the number of fixed broadband customers grew by 167,000 to break through the two million barrier.
Bouygues said it had continued with its two strategic priorities – overhauling its business model and repositioning its offering – during the year.
The results of the transformation plan introduced in early 2012 “significantly exceeded expectations”, the operator said, generating savings of €599 million on mobile activity costs since the end of 2011.
Operating profit came to €45 million last year, compared with €4 million in 2012.
Earlier this month, Bouygues struck a deal with SFR to share network infrastructure in a move designed to save €100 million a year from 2017-2018.
Bouygues, France's third-largest operator, has been cutting costs to deal with a price war sparked by the 2012 launch of Iliad's low-cost Free Mobile service.
Bouygues extended the price war this week into the fixed-line business by launching a cheaper bundle of Internet, TV and phone services, which immediately prompted a response from Free.
Looking ahead, Bouygues Telecom’s said its priorities are to continue to capitalise on the increase in data use encouraged by 4G LTE and to launch “multiple breakthroughs in the fixed segment”. In addition, it said it would “step up” its transformation plan.
The fierce competition has fuelled intensive speculation about potential consolidation in the French telecoms sector.
SFR this week confirmed in a press release that country’s biggest cable operator Numericable, owned by Altice, was interested in buying half of its business.
Reports estimated the deal to value SFR at €15 billion, but Vivendi said nothing firm was yet on the table.