April 28, 2009 / 3:10 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Telmex says calls on the rise due to swine flu

* Flu concerns triggering more calls

* Offers call-free number for info on flu

* Shares down 5 cents on NYSE (Adds background, shares)

MEXICO CITY, April 28 (Reuters) - A rising number of phone calls from Mexicans concerned about friends and relatives because of a swine flu that has claimed 149 lives in Mexico could increase traffic for Telmex, a company official said.

“This could be reflected like positive impact for Telmex,” Chief Financial Officer Adolfo Cerezo told an analysts’ call on Tuesday morning.

Telmex is also offering a call-free number for information on the illness.

Telmex TMX.N TELMEXL.MX, part of the business empire of billionaire Carlos Slim, posted a steeper-than-expected 14.6 percent decline in first-quarter earnings on Monday.

Telmex has faced increased competition as cable television companies began providing telephone and Internet services. In addition, some customers are abandoning Telmex fixed-line telephones for mobile phones.

The company, the leading fixed-line phone service provider in Mexico, has been waiting for government approval to offer video content, but opposition from smaller cable companies has kept Telmex at bay.

Telmex shares were off 0.90 percent to 11.05 pesos.

In New York, its shares were down 0.38 percent at $15.89. (Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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