May 2, 2012 / 6:32 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Swisscom sticks to outlook for weaker 2012

* Q1 net revenue 2.80 bln Sfr, vs 2.79 bln forecast

* Net profit falls 3.8 pct to 456 mln Swiss francs

* Keeps 2012 outlook unchanged (Adds details, background)

ZURICH, May 2 (Reuters) - Swisscom stuck to its outlook for slightly lower sales and core profit in 2012 as the Swiss telecoms group grapples with competition from free online applications and price pressure.

First-quarter sales fell 2.1 percent to 2.80 billion Swiss francs ($3.1 billion), compared with a forecast for 2.79 billion in a Reuters poll. Net profit fell 3.8 percent to 456 million francs.

European telecoms groups are struggling with declining revenue and profit as they face new competitive threats, such as from Google which offers a free messaging service on smartphones.

Swisscom said on Wednesday while more customers were shunning text messages to communicate over internet applications and social media platforms, a rise in customer numbers and bundled offerings helped compensate for declining revenue.

Switzerland’s dominant communications company is also facing intensified pressure on prices. It invested 366 million francs in local infrastructure, an increase of 24 percent, as it rolls out its broadband network across the country.

Swisscom said it expected 2012 net revenue of 11.4 billion francs and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 4.4 billion, assuming an average exchange rate of 1.23 francs to the euro.

France Telecom was set to report first-quarter results on May 3, German group Deutsche Telekom on May 10, and Telefonica from Spain on May 11. ($1 = 0.9086 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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