Bouygues raises full-year sales forecast again

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Bouygues, the French conglomerate, raised its forecasts for the second time this year after a strong first half performance.

The group, which operates in the construction, telecoms and broadcasting industries, reported growth in most of its businesses in the six months to June 20.

The full-year sales target was raised from €23.1bn ($28bn) to €23.5bn. In June, Bouygues raised its forecasts from €22.7bn.

Group sales were €11.27bn for the six months to June 30, a 14 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Pre-tax profits were almost 23 per cent higher at €761m, before profits from associates and discontinued and held-for-sale operations. Earnings per share were €1.13 compared with €0.82.

Bouygues Telecom, the group’s third-largest business, continued to be its most profitable by contributing more than half of net earnings. Net profits were €182m, 39 per cent higher than the same period in 2004 on sales that were 6 per cent higher, excluding the effect of a regulatory changes to mobile phone billing on January 1.

Bouygues turned round a first-quarter net loss at its biggest unit Colas, the road construction unit, with a €44m net profit for the six months.

Sales at TF1, the broadcast business in which Bouygues owns a 41.6 per cent stake, remained flat, but net profits rose from €69m to €76m.

After a small rise soon after the results were released, the shares fell 1 per cent €0.38 to €36.32 in early afternoon trade.

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