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PARIS, May 17 (Reuters) - A stronger performance in telecoms enabled French conglomerate Bouygues to post a smaller-than-expected first quarter group operating loss, and the company vowed to further increase earnings over the full year.
Bouygues, which failed to merge its telecoms unit with market leader Orange last year, said Bouygues Telecom confirmed its 25 percent EBITDA margin target for 2017 and its target of 300 million euros ($333 million) of free cash flow in three years time.
Bouygues reiterated that the group should continue to improve profits in 2017, driven by all business segments.
The family-controlled Bouygues group, which also builds roads and owns France's biggest private TV broadcaster TF1 , said first-quarter revenue rose 5 percent to 6.847 billion euros, while its current operating loss narrowed to 67 million euros from a loss of 140 million a year earlier.
According to a company compiled poll of 15 analysts, median forecasts for Bouygues had predicted quarterly sales of 6.633 billion euros and a current operating loss of 114 million.
$1 = 0.9007 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta