Bouygues Telecom said it remains on track with its Ambition 2026 strategy after it met revenue and earnings guidance figures for 2021.
The plan, which covers the six-year period from the end of 2020, envisages the operator being France's number two mobile operator by the end of 2026, as well as being a "major player" in fiber.
In 2021, the operator said the number of marketed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) premises stood at 24.3 million at the end of 2021, with 27 million targeted for the end of 2022 and 35 million for the end of 2026.
Revenue in 2021 increased by 13% to €7.3 billion (US$8.2 billion), while EBITDA after leases (EBITDAal) increased 7% to €1.61 billion ($1.79 billion), in line with last year’s upgraded forecast.
The operating profit in 2021 was €663 million ($740 million), up €12 million year-on-year, while net profit rose by €26 million to €403 million ($450 million). Net capex amounted to €1.33 billion ($1.48 billion) by the end of the year.
For 2022, Bouygues Telecom is targeting a 5% increase in sales from services and a 7% rise in EBITDAal. Gross capex is set at around €1.5 billion (excluding 5G frequencies) "in order to keep pace with growth in the mobile and fixed customer base, and in usage."
Bouygues Telecom competes with Orange France andAltice France-owned SFR as well as Iliad's Free. The operator said it managed to add 569,000 new mobile customers last year, taking the total to 14.8 million (excluding M2M customers).
More than half of its 4.4 million fixed customer base now subscribe to FTTH services. In 2021, Bouygues Telecom increased total FTTH subscribers by 718,000 to 2.3 million.
Bouygues Telecom also pointed to the expansion of an existing collaboration with Vauban Infra Fibre, part of Vauban Infrastructure Partners, to accelerate FTTH deployment in zones of medium and low population density.
A new joint venture called SDFAST has been created, with Bouygues Telecom as the minority shareholder and Vauban Infra Fibre the majority shareholder.
The JV aims to finance coverage for a further 20 million connections by 2027, of which four million in medium-density and 16 million in low-density areas.
Bouygues noted that this new agreement reinforces existing collaborations with Vauban, including the creation of CityFast in 2018, for 3.4 million connections in very dense areas; and SDAIF in 2020, which ensures access to 13 million connections deployed by Orange in medium-density areas via the acquisition of long-term access rights.
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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading