Message from the Chairman & CEO
In a tough economic and competitive environment in France, the Bouygues group’s transformation strategy is starting to produce results.
The Group recorded a good commercial performance. The construction businesses adapted to the decline of the French market and continued their positive momentum in international markets, which now account for 59% of the order book at Bouygues Construction and Colas, compared with 53% at end-December 2014. TF1 consolidated its leadership, gaining high audience shares in a fiercely competitive market. Lastly, the aggressive strategy pursued by Bouygues Telecom delivered the first positive results, reflected in renewed commercial momentum in mobile and continued growth in fixed broadband.
“The Group returned to growth in profitability”
Bouygues showed its capacity to innovate by broadening its portfolio of offers with new products and services, both on existing and on new market segments. The Group won several major calls for tender to develop eco-neighbourhoods in France. Bouygues Immobilier launched Nextdoor − a range of office spaces that offer flexible and user-friendly working environments to businesses. TF1 strengthened its position in the content market by acquiring a 70% stake in the production company Newen, and obtained authorisation from the CSA (French broadcasting authority) to migrate its LCI channel to freeview TV. Bouygues Telecom asserted its leadership in 4G, now used by 51% of its mobile customers.
The Group returned to growth in profitability. The current operating margin rose to 2.9% thanks to stable profitability at the construction businesses and improved profitability at TF1 and Bouygues Telecom.
The Group strengthened its financial structure. Net debt at end-December 2015 was
€2.6 billion, €655 million less than at end-December 2014.
Alstom has now refocused on rail transport, where it is a leader on its markets. Bouygues owned 28.3% of Alstom’s capital on 28 January 2016, after the public share buy-back offer, compared with 29.2% on 31 December 2015. In accordance with the agreements concluded on 22 June 2014, in order to allow the sale of Alstom’s Energy business to General Electric, Bouygues loaned the French government 20% of Alstom’s shares for a period of approximately 20 months.
”The Group should continue to improve profitability in 2016”
The Group should continue to improve profitability in 2016. The Group’s construction businesses will continue targeted growth in international markets and broaden their portfolio of products and services. Their profitability is expected to improve in 2016. TF1 will pursue its development under the guidance of its new senior management team. Finally, within the context of its standalone strategy, Bouygues Telecom confirms its target of a return to long-term growth in sales and profits.
I should like to thank all our employees for their commitment and their mindset, and our customers and our shareholders for their confidence.
(Updated: March 2016)