STOCKHOLM, April 28 (Reuters) - Autoliv , the world's biggest maker of airbags and seatbelts, reported a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly earnings but flagged uncertainty about global vehicle production ahead, sending its shares slightly lower.
The Stockholm-based auto safety gear maker said first quarter operating profit rose to $218 million from a year-ago $205 million to come in ahead of a mean forecast of $206 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.
The company kept unchanged its outlook for the full year but forecast like-for-like sales growth would slow in the second quarter compared to the first while it struck a note of caution about global light vehicle production.
"Light vehicle production grew by almost 6 percent in the quarter, with growth in all regions," the company said.
"However, we currently see some uncertainties relating to light vehicle production growth, including high inventory levels and slower sales momentum, especially in North America and China."
Autoliv shares are down 10 percent this year compared with a 9 percent rise in the broader Stockholm stock market.
Worries over increased investments at the group and the outlook for car markets in China and the United States have weighed on the stock which fell 0.9 percent on the day by 1026 GMT.
Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Niklas Pollard