HELSINKI, April 27 (Reuters) - Finland's Kone Oyj , the world's second-biggest elevator maker, said orders and profit fell in the first quarter, knocking its shares on Thursday.
Although Kone raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts due to the Chinese market showing signs of stabilisation after two years of declines, shares in the company, which also makes escalators, fell by 2 percent.
Kone said its new equipment order volumes in China - the world's biggest elevator market - turned stable in the first quarter, and that market prices had also started to stabilize.
However, the company repeated its forecast that installations in China would likely decline 0–5 percent in units ordered, adding that competition will continue to be intense.
Kone sees its global sales growing 0-3 percent this year, whereas it had previously forecast that sales could be down 1 percent or grow by up to 3 percent.
Operating profit for 2017 is forecast to be in the 1.20-1.29 billion euro range, compared to a previous estimate of 1.18–1.30 billion euros, Kone said.
Kone's total order intake fell 1.5 percent from a year ago to 1.91 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in the first quarter, while operating profit decreased 1.7 percent to 218 million euros, both slightly below market expectations.
Otis, owned by U.S. group United Technologies, is the market leader ahead of Kone, which is bigger than Switzerland's Schindler and German rival ThyssenKrupp in the elevator industry. ($1 = 0.9178 euros) (Editing by Alexander Smith)