Bouygues Telecom's net profit dropped 78% in the fist nine months of 2012, compared to last year.
In 2011, the Telecom business contributed €316 million as net profit to the Group over the first nine months of the year. This year, that contribution was €68 million, a drop of 78%.
The operator said that the drop in profitability was a result of an 8% drop in sales, allied to a €70-million non-recurring charge related to its restructuring adaptation plan, booked in the third quarter.
A €300-million adaptation and savings plan is being gradually rolled out and is expected to have a full impact in 2013. As part of that plan, a voluntary redundancy plan concerning 556 employees is currently under way.
The operator also increased capex by €50 million between 2011 and 2012 from €536 to €586 million. That excludes €715 million spent on 4G frequencies in in 2012.
The company's net cash position also worsened, dropping by just over a billion Euro, to a negative (debt) position of €1,475 billion.
There was some good news, as the operator acquired 178,000 new mobile customers, with a net gain of 11,000 customers, excluding the impact of integrating Darty Telecom and Simyo. 188,000 new plan customers joined Bouygues Telecom in the third quarter of 2012, including 64,000 Darty Telecom customers.