May 15, 2018 / 6:32 AM / 7 days ago

Telecoms group Iliad posts slight rise in Q1 sales, says Italy launch imminent

PARIS, May 15 (Reuters) - Iliad, the French telecoms group behind the popular “Free” brand and whose low-cost offers have shaken up competition within the sector, posted a slight rise in first-quarter sales and slightly raised its spending targets.

Iliad, which is majority-owned by its billionaire founder Xavier Niel, said first quarter revenues edged up by 0.8 percent from the previous year to 1.2 billion euros ($1.43 billion), driven mainly by higher sales at its mobile business.

Iliad is planning to launch in Italy, and the company said on Tuesday that its debut in Italy was “imminent.”

It also increased its capital expenditure target for France to 1.55 billion euros for 2018, compared to a previous capex target in that area ranging from 1.4-1.5 billion euros.

Iliad competes in France with the likes of Orange, Bouygues Telecom and Altice .

$1 = 0.8389 euros Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain

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