French construction giant Bouygues has reported improved operating profit in its full-year 2019 financial results.
The figure stands at €1.68 billion for 2019, approximately €112 million ahead of the previous year’s total.
Across the group – which is also active in media and telecoms – year-on-year sales were up 5% (at constant exchange rates) to €37.9 billion.
Bouygues also enjoyed a two-fold increase in cash flow, to €815 million, and a significant decrease in net debt – down from €3.6 billion in 2018, to €2.2 billion at the end of 2019.
Bouygues Construction currently has a total backlog of €33 billion, almost unchanged from the 2018 year-end figure, while the figure for France dropped 2%, to €8.6 billion; the company attributed this to a slowdown in order intake in the latter part of the year, as well as delays in obtaining building permits, due to the upcoming municipal elections.
In its report, Bouygues highlighted some of its major ongoing projects, including a 3.4km subsea road tunnel in Hong Kong, worth over €750 million, and railway work in the UK, worth over €550 million.
The company also gave an update on the cyber attack it suffered in January, causing it to shut down its IT system as a precaution. It said security was immediately strengthened and insisted the incident had “a very low impact on the operational and commercial activity of worksites.
Based on the strength of its year-end results and the positive outlook for 2020, Bouygues’ board of directors have recommended a dividend of €2.60 per share.