PARIS, May 3 (Reuters) - France's Thales on Wednesday posted an 11.9 percent rise in first-quarter revenues compared with the same period a year ago, led by its aerospace division and reaffirmed its 2017 and medium-term financial targets.
Quarterly sales rose 11 percent on an underlying basis to 3.058 billion euros ($3.34 billion), while the intake of fresh orders fell 1 percent, or 2 percent on an underlying basis, to 2.281 billion euros. Underlying sales growth excludes the impact of any changes in corporate structure and exchange rates.
Europe's largest defence electronics company said quarterly aerospace sales, which rose 17.3 percent, were lifted by a favourable comparison in its civil In-Flight Entertainment business which had performed sluggishly a year earlier.
Robust growth in the Space business also contributed to the strong quarterly sales.
But Thales cautioned that overall second-quarter sales growth would suffer from the reverse effect after a strong second quarter last year in the Transport and Aerospace categories.
After strong orders in the past two years, Thales predicts a lower order intake of 14 billion euros in 2017.
It also expects mid-single digit underlying growth in sales and a 9-11 percent increase in operating profit to 1.48-1.5 billion euros this year. ($1 = 0.9148 euros) (Reporting by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Diane Craft)