UPDATE 1-PerkinElmer raises 2018 forecasts as 1st-qtr profit beats Street

(Adds CEO interview, sales details)

April 30 (Reuters) - Laboratory equipment maker PerkinElmer posted a slightly higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Monday and revised its full-year earnings forecast upward as sales grew in both of its business units.

Excluding one-time items, the company said it had adjusted earnings of 63 cents per share, topping analysts’ average expectations by 2 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

PerkinElmer, which also makes environmental and neonatal testing equipment, said it now expects 2018 adjusted earnings of $3.60 per share, up from its prior view of $3.50 and above current Wall Street estimates of $3.53 per share.

“Our market conditions continue to be at least as good as we thought going into the year and maybe even a little bit better,” Chief Executive Robert Friel said in an interview.

It was a strong first quarter for the diagnostic tools sector, with larger rivals Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc and Illumina Inc having previously reported better-than-expected results.

PerkinElmer raised the midpoint of its full-year revenue forecast to $2.8 billion from $2.73 billion. Analysts on average were forecasting $2.74 billion.

Net profit fell to $26 million, or 23 cents per share, from a profit of $38.6 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago, because of an accounting adjustment related to the Euroimmun acquisition.

Revenue for the quarter jumped 25 percent to $644 million, helped by favorable foreign exchange rates and the contribution from diagnostics company Euroimmun. That figure also topped Wall Street expectations of $619.6 million.

Concerns that trade and tariff issues between China and the United States could hurt medical devices and tools are not likely to negatively impact PerkinElmer in its important Chinese market, Friel said.

Most PerkinElmer products intended for use in China are either manufactured in China or Europe, he explained.

“We didn’t see any slowdowns,” Friel said, adding that the company sees 2018 sales from China approaching $600 million.

Discovery & Analytical Solutions sales grew 10 percent to $396.5 million, while the Diagnostics unit, which now includes Euroimmun, saw sale jump 62 percent to $247.5 million. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot in New York, editing by G Crosse)