February 22, 2018 / 6:46 AM / in 3 months

French conglomerate Bouygues' 2017 profits beat expectations

PARIS, Feb 22 (Reuters) - French conglomerate Bouygues delivered forecast-beating operating profits for 2017 and predicted a further rise in earnings for 2018, with the company showing growth in its main construction, media and telecom businesses.

The telecoms business, France’s third-biggest mobile operator which Bouygues failed to merge with market leader Orange in 2016, met or exceeded all its 2017 targets.

That business was experiencing a profitable growth momentum with a free cash flow target of 300 million euros ($368.04 million) in 2019, Bouygues said in a statement on Thursday.

The family-controlled group, which also builds roads and owns France’s biggest private TV company TF1, said current operating profits reached 1.420 billion euros last year, against 1.121 billon in 2016.

Sales reached 32.904 billion euros, up 4 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Inquiry Financial for Reuters predicted operating profits of 1.405 billion euros on sales of 32.450 billion euros.

Bouygues also announced on Thursday a 113 million euros contract win in Singapore for its construction business.

$1 = 0.8151 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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