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SKF Forecasts Increased Bearings Demand as Profit Advances

SKF AB (SKFB), the world’s largest maker of ball bearings, said orders will probably increase after recovering car production and orders in Asia helped lift first-quarter profit 56 percent.

Demand for SKF’s products and services in the second quarter is expected to be “slightly higher” for the group, driven by North America and Asia, and “relatively unchanged for Latin America, SKF said in a statement today.

SKF, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, last year bought Kaydon Corp. for $1.25 billion to expand in the U.S. market for industrial shock absorbers, gas springs and vibration isolation systems. The company, which is targeting 3 billion kronor ($457 million) in cost cuts through 2015, is considered a barometer for the health of global industrial orders because its products are used in areas ranging from construction and washing machines to carmaking and aerospace.

‘‘Going forward we expect demand to develop positively both sequentially and compared to the second quarter last year,’’ SKF’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Johnstone said in today’s statement. ‘‘Manufacturing will be higher year on year and slightly higher compared to the first quarter.”

Net income in the first quarter rose to 1.24 billion kronor from 793 million kronor, beating the average 1.15 billion-krona estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Pretax profit was 1.79 billion kronor, compared with an average estimate of 1.82 billion kronor. Sales rose 10 percent to 16.7 billion kronor, meeting predictions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Niklas Magnusson in Stockholm at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at Andrew Noel, David Risser

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