UPDATE 1-Kone raises full-year outlook after strong Q2 profit
* Q2 operating profit 242.8 mln euros vs 237 mln in poll
* Sees 2013 sales up 9-11 pct
* Sees 2013 operating profit at 870-920 million euros (Adds CEO comment, background on Kone's profit improvement)
HELSINKI, July 19 (Reuters) - Finnish lift and escalator maker Kone raised its full-year outlook after strong demand in China helped it book a bigger-than-expected operating profit for the second quarter.
Its second-quarter operating profit rose to 242.8 million euros ($317.9 million) from 210 million euros a year earlier. Analysts on average expected 237 million euros, according to a Reuters poll.
The Finnish company's profits have grown in the past few years thanks to construction of new homes, offices, shopping centres and airports in Asia, particularly in China.
Chief Executive Matti Alahuhta said the market for new lifts and escalators in China would likely grow 10-15 percent in 2013.
Kone raised its forecast for 2013 sales growth to 9-11 percent and said its expected full-year operating income to be 890-920 million euros. It previously estimated sales growth of 7-10 percent and operating profit of around 870-920 million euros.
Analysts expected an even higher result for the full year. The avearge analyst estimate for 2013 operating income was 935 million euros.
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