* Q2 order intake 1.8 bln euros vs 1.7 bln expected
* Sees FY op profit between 1.00 bln euros and 1.05 bln
* Shares up 1.5 pct, hit highest in nearly 6 months (Adds details, analyst, updates shares)
HELSINKI, July 18 (Reuters) - Finnish elevator maker Kone Oyj reported a larger-than-expected quarterly order intake on Friday and lifted its full-year profit outlook with the support of strong Chinese demand.
Its shares rose to their highest in nearly six months.
The world’s second-biggest elevator company said its orders received in the quarter reached a record high of 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion), more than the 1.7 billion forecast in a Reuters poll and 1.6 billion a year earlier.
While sales grew especially quickly in China, Kone recorded higher sales in all regions as the world emerges from a protracted slowdown due to the after-affects of the financial and sovereign debt crises.
“Kone repeating that it sees the Chinese market growing 10 percent this year was important news,” Pohjola Bank analyst Pekka Spolander said.
“In the spring, there were jitters about how the situation there develops, but the outlook removed some worries,” he said, noting Kone’s order book in general was “very strong”.
Kone said there were no notable changes to the market environment in any region during the quarter. It still sees markets in southern European countries shrinking slightly this year.
Due to faster growth in Asia in the first half of the year, the region generated 41 percent of the company’s sales, up from 38 percent a year earlier. Europe, Middle East and Africa was still its largest region, with 45 percent of sales coming from there.
Kone said it expected operating profit for the full year to be between 1.00 billion euros and 1.05 billion, against its previous outlook of between 990 million and 1.05 billion.
Sales were still seen growing by between 6 and 9 percent at comparable exchange rates.
Kone’s second-quarter operating profit increased 9 percent to 263 million euros, meeting analysts’ average expectation.
Its shares rose 4 percent after the results, but pared gains and were up 1.8 percent at 32.27 euros by 1025 GMT. They rose as high as 33.33 euros, their highest since late January. ($1 = 0.7393 Euros) (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Sakari Suoninen; Editing by David Holmes)