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Conglomerate Bouygues keeps outlook for higher earnings as H1 profits rise

PARIS, Aug 31 (Reuters) - French conglomerate Bouygues kept its 2017 outlook for higher earnings as growth in its construction and telecoms businesses drove a rise in first-half profits.

Bouygues, which builds roads and owns France's biggest private TV broadcaster TF1, said first-half current operating profits surged 87 percent from a year ago to 385 million euros ($457 million).

Sales rose 3 percent to 15.16 billion euros.

According to a Bouygues poll of 11 analysts, the median forecasts included first-half sales of 15.125 billion euros and current operating profit of 321 million.

Bouygues kept its targets for higher profits in 2017, and added that Bouygues Telecom was sticking to its target of 300 million euros of free cash flow in three years' time.

Bouygues' Colas construction arm also announced on Thursday the acquisition of Miller & McAsphalt, a Canadian construction company with annual sales of around 1.3 billion Canadian dollars ($1 billion).

($1 = 0.8422 euros)

($1 = 1.2648 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)