HELSINKI, April 20 (Reuters) - Finland's largest telecom operator Elisa lifted its full-year sales and profit outlook after reporting a rise in first-quarter earnings on the back of its recent acquisition of local rival Anvia.
Elisa said on Thursday it now expects its revenue and core profit to grow this year, compared to its previous forecast of flat or just slight increases for both measures.
First-quarter core profit was 144 million euros ($154 million), in line with analysts' average forecast and up from 137 million euros a year earlier.
Elisa nevertheless said that the Finnish market remains challenging amid weak economic growth and tough price competition from rivals Telia and DNA.
Shares in the company rose 0.5 percent to 31.83 euros in early trade, as analysts said the results and outlook came as no surprise.
Elisa bought regional operator Anvia's consumer business last year for 107 million euros to increase its market share.
In a bid to boost international growth, Elisa is buying cable TV company Starman's Estonian operations, as well as network solutions firm Santa Monica's Finnish and Estonian businesses.
In 2015, Elisa had a 39 percent share of Finnish mobile subscriptions, followed by Telia on 34 percent and DNA on 26 percent. ($1 = 0.9327 euros) (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Susan Fenton)