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French group Edenred eyes higher 2017 profit after strong H1

PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) - French prepaid meal voucher and card provider group Edenred predicted on Tuesday a rise in full year 2017 operating profit, after strong first-half growth in Europe and a resilient performance in Latin America.

Edenred, which helps firms manage staff expenses and is best know for its "Ticket Restaurant" vouchers, forecast earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) would be between 420 million euros ($490 million) and 445 million euros, against 370 million euros in 2016.

The forecast compares with average market expectations of 434 million euros for full year EBIT, ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S data showed.

Edenred said EBIT reached 201 million euros in the first half.

This was a like for like rise of 14.7 percent, excluding currency impacts, acquisitions and divestments, with Edenred performing well in spite of tough market conditions in Brazil.

($1 = 0.8578 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)