The Group continued to improve its profitability, recording a current operating margin of 3.5%, up 0.6 points on 2015. The current operating margin in the construction businesses increased by 0.3 points in 2016. TF1 exceeded its target for reducing the cost of programmes (a). Bouygues Telecom continued to grow, recording a 6% rise in sales in 2016 and a 3-point improvement in its EBITDA margin to 23%. The target of €400 million of savings in 2016 versus end-2013 was exceeded and net capital expenditure was in line with expectations.
"Bouygues is well positioned for the future. The business segments have adapted their strategies and organisations to the changes in their markets in order to seize new opportunities. "
We have broadened the offer portfolio with innovative solutions in response to new customer uses, particularly in terms of sustainable construction, e.g. eco-neighbourhoods, positive-energy rehabilitation of existing buildings, solar roads and flexible and collaborative workspaces; the 4G box for rural areas and the Internet of Things at Bouygues Telecom; and virtual reality in programmes at TF1.
We have strengthened the culture of flexibility and efficiency in the organisations and are rolling out a far-reaching digital transformation policy. With net debt of €1.9 billion at end-December 2016, €695 million lower than at end-December 2015, the Group’s financial structure provides scope for development.
The Group expects profitability to continue improving in 2017, driven by all business segments. The current operating margin of the construction businesses should continue to improve and profitability should carry on rising at TF1, with a double-digit current operating margin target in 2019. Lastly, Bouygues Telecom confirmed its 25% EBITDA margin target for 2017 and has set a new target of €300 million of free cash flowb in three years’ time.
"I should like to thank all our employees for their commitment and their mindset, and our customers and our shareholders for their confidence."
23 February 2017
(a) Excluding non-current charges and sporting events.
(b) Free cash flow = cash flow - cost of net debt - income tax expense - net capital expenditure. It is calculated before changes in working capital requirements.