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Kone Jumps as China Equipment Demand Helps 2013 Forecast

Kone Oyj (KNEBV), the Finnish elevator supplier to the Shard skyscraper in London, rose the most in a year after strong Chinese demand offset a sales decline in Europe and prompted the company to raise its forecast for 2013.

Kone jumped as much as 9.5 percent to 63.95 euros, the biggest intraday increase since April 24, 2012, and was trading up 7.6 percent at 1:28 p.m. in Helsinki, valuing the manufacturer at 16.4 billion euros ($21.3 billion). Volume was more than 535,000 shares, exceeding the three-month daily average by 21 percent.

“The growth of the Chinese new-equipment market was clearly faster than we expected,” Chief Executive Officer Matti Alahuhta said today in a statement. “Also elsewhere in Asia- Pacific, the new-equipment market grew.”

The company has quadrupled its market value from the beginning of 2009, fueled by China’s construction boom. The Asia-Pacific region’s proportion of Helsinki-based Kone’s sales has doubled to 35 percent in the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Kone now expects group revenue growth of 7 percent to 10 percent this year, compared with a forecast in January of a 5 percent to 9 percent increase, the company said today. Earnings before interest and taxes will total 870 million euros to 920 million euros, Kone said, raising the lower end of the forecast range from 840 million euros.

First-quarter net income rose 15 percent from a year earlier to 124.4 million euros, beating the 115 million-euro average of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 13 percent to 1.4 billion euros.

Schindler Holding AG (SCHP), a Swiss maker of elevators and escalators, last week reported first-quarter sales growth being held back by European builders delaying projects. Kone also reported a decline in European new equipment and modernization markets.

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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