January 31, 2018 / 8:19 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Electrolux beats Q4 profit forecasts, sees demand rising

(Adds CEO comment, background, detail, shares)

STOCKHOLM, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Electrolux, Europe’s largest home appliance maker, beat fourth-quarter operating profit expectations on Wednesday and reiterated its forecast for higher demand in Europe and North America this year.

The maker of Electrolux, Frigidaire, AEG and Anova appliances reported operating earnings of 1.97 billion crowns ($251 million), up from 1.62 billion and above the 1.87 billion expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

It saw strong results in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as in Latin America. Its North America business fell short of forecasts, with Electrolux citing price pressure, lower volumes and raw material costs.

The rival of U.S. maker Whirlpool Corp said it expected a bigger negative impact from rising raw material costs this year, mainly as a result of higher steel prices.

It forecast a 1.2 billion crown headwind in 2018 from raw materials, up from previous guidance of about 1 billion.

Electrolux stood by its appliance market forecast, given in November, for industry-wide shipments in Europe to grow 1-2 percent and by 2-3 percent in North America.

“We will continue our efficiency measures to offset this headwind and also implement previously announced price increases,” Chief Executive Jonas Samuelson said in a statement.

Electrolux shares were up 5.5 percent in early trade.

The stock is up around 12 percent over the past year, roughly doubling the advance of the STOXX Europe personal and household goods index.

$1 = 7.8643 Swedish crowns Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard and Jason Neely

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