PARIS, May 10 (Reuters) - French waste and water group Suez said in a statement that strong growth at its European waste division helped boost first-quarter earnings before interest and taxes by 10.8 percent to 281 million euros ($306 million).
Suez's first-quarter core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 7.1 percent to 614 million euros as revenue rose 4.7 percent to 3.72 billion euros.
Its core 'Recycling and Recovery Europe' division saw revenue grow 5.1 percent to 1.45 billion euros, mainly due to higher commodity prices and an increase in the amount of waste material treated by it.
Suez chief executive Jean-Louis Chaussade said business in the first quarter was "encouraging" and the company confirmed its 2017 targets - excluding the effects of its GE Water acquisition - for slight organic growth in revenue and EBIT, and for free cash flow of around 1 billion euros.
The company reiterated it expects the GE Water deal to be closed as planned during the third quarter of this year.
$1 = 0.9181 euros Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta