PARIS, May 18 (Reuters) - French telecoms group Iliad reported on Thursday that first quarter sales had risen 7 percent from the previous year to 1.22 billion euros ($1.36 billion), with about 300,000 new subscribers gained during the quarter.
Iliad's 'Free' brand has been a pioneer in packages that combine broadband internet, television and fixed-line telephones. It triggered a price war with rivals Orange , SFR Group and Bouygues Telecom in the French mobile sector when launched in 2012.
The group, founded and majority-owned by billionaire Xavier Niel, said it added 240,000 mobile subscribers in the first three months of the year, bringing the total to 12.9 million, which represents a market share of 18 percent.
It added about 66,000 broadband subscribers.
In its first big test since the launch of Free Mobile in France, Niel plans to expand in Italy later this year or early 2018.
$1 = 0.8977 euros Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Edmund Blair