French group Bouygues posts lower-than-expected operating loss in first half

PARIS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - French conglomerate Bouygues reported a lower-than-expected core operating loss in the first half on Thursday, as the novel coronavirus outbreak severely hit sales over the period.

Group current operating loss amounted to 132 million euros ($156.10 million) in the first-half, reflecting a fall of 585 million euros from a year earlier, the family-run group said in a statement.

This beat the median average of nine analyst estimates compiled by the company, which predicted a current operating loss of 336 million euros.

Bouygues did not provide new financial targets for 2020 after having dropped them earlier this year.

However, it said it would return to “significant profitability” in the second-half, while remaining below the levels reported over the same period in 2019.

$1 = 0.8456 euros Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta