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UPDATE 2-Electrolux profits jump as appliances buckle under stay-at-home pressure

* Q1 operating profit 2.30 bln SEK vs consensus 1.45 bln

* Sees demand starting to normalise in H2

* Sees further capacity, component shortages into H2 (Adds details)

STOCKHOLM, April 28 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Electrolux posted a record first quarter performance on Wednesday, benefiting from social restrictions which meant consumers were using their appliances more frequently and spending more on replacements.

First-quarter operating profit at Europe’s biggest home appliances maker grew to 2.30 billion crowns ($274 million) from a year-earlier 122 million on a 23% jump in organic sales. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had on average forecast a 1.45 billion crown profit.

“The changes in consumer behaviour and spending patterns brought by the pandemic continued in the first quarter of 2021,” Chief Executive Jonas Samuelson said.

“Consumers continued to spend more time at home using their appliances more intensively and allocating a larger share of their household budgets to home improvement projects, both benefiting our sales.”

The shares rose 3% in early trade.

Samuelson expects demand to start to normalise in the second half of this year as pandemic restrictions ease.

Earnings in the year-ago quarter were unusually weak amid restructuring in North America and the impact of the initial outbreak of the pandemic on supply chains and demand, flattering this year’s figures.

Electrolux warned on Wednesday that capacity and electronic component availability would remain constraining factors into the second half of 2021.

The group, which last year spun off its Electrolux Professional business, said visibility remained limited due to the pandemic but that it expected demand growth to be positive for the full year in most markets, with the exception of Latin America.

“We continue to expect demand for the first half of 2021 to exceed normal seasonal levels across our main markets, driven by increased home-improvement spending by consumers and retailers’ inventory replenishment,” Samuelson said.

Electrolux said it expected stronger headwinds than before from external factors, mainly raw material costs, but thought it could offset those with price increases.

U.S. rival Whirlpool last week raised its full-year outlook.

$1 = 8.3881 Swedish crowns Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard and Elaine Hardcastle

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