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UPDATE 2-Bpost lags Q1 profit forecast, to update outlook after May talks

(Adds shares in paragraph 2, outlook comments in paras 1, 6, acquisitions costs in para 10)

By Olivier Cherfan

May 3 (Reuters) - Belgian postal operator Bpost missed first-quarter profit expectations on Friday and said its full-year outlook was "pending", as it hopes to conclude talks over the delivery of French-language newspapers by the end of May.

Bpost's shares were down 2.3% at 1137 GMT.

The company has been under pressure from speculation that the country's government could choose other companies for the distribution of newspapers and periodicals.

Last week, Bpost signed a delivery agreement with Flemish newspaper publishers, covering around 75% of the volumes it currently delivers.

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"We are doing our utmost to do the same with the French-speaking editors soon," CEO Chris Peeters said in a statement, adding during a call with analysts that it is hoping for a decision by the end of the month.

Bpost, which in March guided for stable operating income in 2024 but did not give a profit forecast, said it would update those targets once the talks were over.

Underlying mail volumes in Belgium, Bpost's main market, fell 6.7% in the quarter, while parcel volumes grew by 2.9%.

Bpost - which also offers shipping services to e-commerce firms in North America, Europe and Asia - posted a 20% drop in first quarter adjusted operating profit from a year earlier to 62.1 million euros ($66.6 million).

That missed analysts' consensus of 69.7 million euros provided by the company.

Bpost said profit was hit by costs of 7.7 million euros related to its acquisition of France-based logistics firm Staci, while difficult market conditions in North America weighed on its logistics business there.

Adjusted operating profit in its E-Logistics North America division fell 41.3% to 8.8 million euros due to lower parcel volumes, missing expectations of 10.6 million euros.

U.S.-based parcel group UPS reported earnings above expectations last month, as cost cuts offset still soft demand for package delivery.

($1 = 0.9319 euros) (Reporting by Olivier Cherfan in Gdansk; editing by Milla Nissi, Kirsten Donovan)