May 14, 2020 / 6:27 AM / in 17 days

UPDATE 1-Crisis knocks Bouygues sales, holds off making new forecast

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PARIS, May 14 (Reuters) - French conglomerate Bouygues said on Thursday it was unable to give investors new full-year guidance as severe slowdowns triggered by the coronavirus pandemic hit its construction and media businesses.

Paris-based Bouygues reported a 9% drop in first quarter sales from a year earlier to 7.22 billion euros ($7.80 billion) and estimated the impact of the coronavirus crisis on sales to be around 750 million euros in the first quarter, of which 600 million euros was in France alone.

Operating losses widened by 184 million euros over the first quarter, bringing the total to 242 million euros, Bouygues said.

Lockdowns in France and other countries hit the group’s construction and media businesses in particular, which each saw falls of more than 10% in the first quarter.

By contrast, Bouygues’ telecoms arm showed more resilience with first-quarter revenue growing by 2.5%, as it added customers in both its broadband and mobile businesses.

The global economic downturn resulting from the current health crisis led Bouygues to withdraw its dividend and guidance last month. On Thursday it said it was still “too soon” to provide new full-year financial targets for the group. ($1 = 0.9256 euros) (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Alexander Smith)

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