* Q1 EBITDA $565 mln vs Reuters poll avg forecast $544 mln
* Repeats 2015 guidance: sales $7.1-7.5 bln, EBITDA $2.2-2.35 bln
* Says will present strategic update at Q2 results (Adds detail, background)
STOCKHOLM, April 22 (Reuters) - Emerging markets telecoms and media group Millicom stood by its full-year sales and profit guidance on Wednesday as first-quarter core earnings beat market expectations.
The Latin America and Africa-focused operator has shown strong sales growth in an industry struggling with fierce competition and regulatory pressure, as it expands into fields such as mobile financial services, cable TV and online ventures including African home shopping site Jumia.
But the expansion has weighed on margins and the company is cutting costs to keep up profitability.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $565 million, compared with $478 million a year ago and a mean forecast of $544 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.
The EBITDA margin was 33.1 percent, lower than the 34 percent in the year-ago quarter, but higher than the 31.6 percent in the fourth quarter and above expectations, supported by cost cuts.
Revenue rose to $1.71 billion, compared with an expected $1.73 billion, up 9.7 percent on a like-for-like basis, excluding the recent acquisition of Colombian cable firm UNE.
Millicom repeated it expected core profit to rise to between $2.2 billion and $2.35 billion in 2015 on revenue of between $7.1 and $7.5 billion.
New Chief Executive Mauricio Ramos, previously head of cable firm Liberty Global’s Latin American business, said he would present a strategic update at half-year results in July. (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Olof Swahnberg; Editing by Niklas Pollard and Pravin Char)