Telecoms group Iliad dials up higher annual profits

PARIS, March 13 (Reuters) - Iliad on Tuesday reported higher annual sales and profits in 2017 last year, driven by growth in its customer base, and said it targetted further growth this year.

Iliad, majority-owned by its billionaire founder Xavier Niel, said annual sales in 2017 had risen 5.6 percent from the previous year to around 4.9 billion euros ($6 billion) - in line with forecasts.

Its core profits also rose 15.8 percent from last year to 862 million euros.

Iliad's 2012 launch sparked a price war in the French telecoms and mobile market, as Iliad set out to win business away from larger rivals such as Orange, Bouygues Telecom and Altice's SFR unit.

($1 = 0.8108 euros) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Richard Lough)