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F-Secure cuts growth outlook, shares drop

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Top European security software maker F-Secure Oyj cut its 2012 sales forecast and said a weak global economy could hurt its newly-launched data storage business, hitting its shares.

F-Secure said it sees now its 2012 sales rising 5-10 percent from a year, lower than its February forecast of around 10 percent forecast and the market's average expectation for 11 percent growth.

"As overall uncertainty in the global economy and financial markets is expected to continue, this may have an impact on operators' interest to invest in new services," the company said in a statement.

F-Secure has invested heavily in building content storage services, and started sales to telecoms operators earlier this year.

"There are increased risks of delays in... contract negotiations and in ramping up the subscriber volumes. This is likely to have an impact on the annual revenue growth," it warned.

Shares in F-Secure dropped 3.2 percent to 1.84 euros by 3:33 a.m. EDT.

F-Secure's first-quarter sales grew 12 percent from a year ago to 38.4 million euros. Operating profit slipped 2 percent to 5.4 million, missing the market's forecast for 5.8 million.

F-Secure reiterated it sees 2012 operating profit margin at around 15 percent.

(Reporting By Tarmo Virki)

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