Current operating profit increased 27% year-on-year and the current operating margin rose 0.8 points at 4.3%. The current operating margin of the construction businesses rose by 0.2 points and at TF1 by 2.4 points. Bouygues Telecom posted an excellent commercial and financial performance, substantially increasing its customer base in both the mobile and the fixed segments. Its EBITDA margin grew strongly, rising 4.6 points versus 2016 to 27.2% and significantly outperforming the 25% target set at end-2015.
"Bouygues is very well-positioned in high-growth potential activities, which ensures it a promising outlook. "
The Group strengthened its positions on its markets. The construction businesses improved their commercial performance both in France and on international markets. They strengthened their positions in the sustainable neighbourhood market and continued to expand in Canada and Australia. TF1 developed its production activity at the European level and accelerated its growth in digital media, in particular with the ongoing acquisition of aufeminin. Bouygues Telecom increased market share in fixed and ramped up the roll-out of its FTTH network and marketing of its fibre offers. Net debt at end-December 2017 was stable year-on-year at €1.9 billion. With a very robust financial structure, the Group has all the means to ensure its development.
As a result of these good results, we are able to offer our shareholders a dividend increase of €0.10 per share for 2017 to €1.70.
Bouygues is very well-positioned in high-growth potential activities, which ensures it a promising outlook. The Group expects to gradually improve its profitability in 2018. The current operating margin of the construction businesses is expected to improve versus 2017, and the same applies at TF1a. Bouygues Telecom is experiencing profitable growth momentum. Its EBITDA margin in 2018 is expected to be higher than in 2017, enabling the company to meet its free cash flowb target of €300 million for 2019.
"I should like to thank all our employees for their commitment and our customers and shareholders for their confidence."
22 February 2018
(a) Excluding major 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.