French group Bouygues keeps goals as Q1 operating loss narrows

PARIS, May 16 (Reuters) - Conglomerate Bouygues posted better-than-expected first quarter results and kept its full-year targets, as the strong performance of its telecoms arm offset weakness at the Colas road building business and led to reduced losses.

The French conglomerate stuck to its prediction that it would improve group profitability over the full year.

The family-controlled Bouygues group, which also builds roads and owns France’s biggest private TV broadcaster TF1 , said first-quarter revenue reached 7.933 billion euros ($8.9 billion), up 16% from 6.826 billion a year ago.

Its current operating loss narrowed to 58 million euros from a loss of 94 million euros a year earlier.

Bouygues, which failed to merge its telecoms unit with market leader Orange three years ago, reiterated its forecast of generating some 300 million euros of free cash flow at Bouygues Telecom this year.

According to a company compiled poll of six analysts, the median forecasts for Bouygues had predicted quarterly sales of 7.261 billion euros and a current operating loss of 87 million.

$1 = 0.8922 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta