U.S. Markets closed

Electrolux sees slightly better demand in Europe as first-quarter tops forecasts

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - World number two home appliances maker Electrolux (STO:ELUX B) said it saw slightly better demand this year in Europe on Friday after posting a small rise in first-quarter core earnings.

The Swedish firm, a smaller rival to Whirlpool (WHR.N) which reports later in the day, said it expected demand in Europe to rise 1-3 percent this year against an earlier forecast of 0-2 percent growth. It also stuck by a forecast for demand in North America to grow 4 percent.

Electrolux, which sells under brands such as Frigidaire, AEG and Zanussi as well as its own name, said adjusted operating earnings rose to 749 million Swedish crowns (67.75 million pounds) from a year-ago 720 million to come in above a mean forecast of 541 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson, editing by Mia Shanley)