* Q2 core profit 1.12 bln Sfr vs 1.09 bln expected
* Net revenue 2.88 bln vs 2.89 bln in poll
* Raises guidance, now expects FY EBITDA of 4.4 bln Sfr
(Adds details, background)
ZURICH, Aug 20 Telecoms group Swisscom
nudged up its forecast for full-year core profit on Wednesday,
after growing customer demand offset falling prices and helped
it post better-than-expected earnings in the second quarter.
The company, which is majority owned by the Swiss state, has
invested more heavily than peers in a high-speed broadband
network to cater for the growing usage of smartphones and tablet
PCs, betting that consumers will pay more for fast data.
Swisscom is hoping those investments will start to pay off
this year. At the end of June, around 1.9 million customers were
using its Infinity offering, including unlimited calls, text and
internet surfing, compared with 1.3 million a year earlier.
The group now expects earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in excess of 4.4 billion
Swiss francs ($4.8 billion), compared with a previous forecast
for 4.35 billion.
It also confirmed its expectation for sales to rise to 11.5
billion francs and said it would propose a stable dividend of 22
francs per share for the 2014 financial year.
This positive outlook contrasts with many other European
telecoms groups, which are still grappling with falling sales
and profits. Last week, Telekom Austria trimmed its
full-year guidance, while Belgacom is forecasting a
drop in core profit for this year.
Swisscom said EBITDA for the second quarter came in at 1.12
billion francs, slightly ahead of the average forecast in a
Reuters poll of 1.09 billion.
Net revenue rose to 2.88 billion francs from 2.86 billion.
Swisscom said it had added 77,000 new customers for its upgraded
TV services, Swisscom TV 2.0, launched at the start of April.
Shares in Swisscom, up 11 percent so far this year, trade at
16.7 times forecast earnings, a discount to Telekom Austria's
19.6 times but above Belgacom's 15.3 times, Reuters data show.
(1 US dollar = 0.9098 Swiss franc)
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by David Holmes)