Kone Advances After Chinese Elevator Sales Soar: Helsinki Mover

Kone Oyj (KNEBV), a Finnish maker of elevators and escalators, rose the most in eight months in Helsinki trading after boosting revenue and profit from China, the industry’s biggest market.

Kone rose as much as 6.3 percent, the most since May 10, making it the second-biggest mover on the OMX Helsinki 25 Index today. The share gained 1.97 euros, or 4.9 percent, to 42.17 euros at close in the Finnish capital. The stock has increased 3.4 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 9.2 billion euros ($12.1 billion).

Kone today increased dividend payments and reported profits that beat estimates after the Helsinki-based company in May doubled its ownership stake of Chinese joint venture GiantKone to 80 percent. Sales from the Asia-Pacific region made up 27 percent of group revenue in 2011, compared with a share of 17 percent two years ago. Group revenue will grow as much as 13 percent in 2012, which would be a seventh straight year of expansion, the company said.

Kone grew “faster than the market” in many Asian countries, Chief Executive Officer Matti Alahuhta said at a press conference today. Kone’s conversion rate from new orders to maintenance deals is globally about 80 percent, while in China it is “slightly” more than 60 percent, a number that is “quite high” for the country, Alahuhta said.

Kone reported a 42 percent advance in fourth-quarter net income to 246 million euros, exceeding analyst estimates of 214 million euros. Kone proposed a dividend of 1.40 euros a share, compared with 0.90 euros a share in 2010. Fourth-quarter sales grew 6.7 percent to 1.59 billion euros.

Last week, the company announced a deal for supplying escalators and elevators for Beijing’s first magnetic levitation train line.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kasper Viita in Helsinki at kviita1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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