SKF forecasts demand rise as Q1 profit close to forecast

STOCKHOLM, April 19 Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:11am EDT

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STOCKHOLM, April 19 (Reuters) - World number one bearings maker SKF posted quarterly earnings close to market expectations on Thursday and said it expected demand to improve slightly in the second quarter as growing stability in Europe added to an upturn elsewhere.

First quarter operating earnings at SKF, seen as a bellwether for the broader manufacturing sector, fell to 2.14 billion crowns ($317.25 million) in the quarter from a year-ago 2.50 billion and compared with a mean forecast of 2.17 billion seen in a Reuters poll of 15 analysts. ($1 = 6.7456 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Johannes Hellstrom)

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