Price rises and robust demand in Latin America helped world number two appliance maker Electrolux beat forecasts in the first quarter.

This offset weakness in Europe and North America that is set to continue for the rest of the year.

Shares in the company, whose brands include Zanussi, Frigidaire and AEG, rose 8%.

The results dispelled some of the gloom cast by weak consumer confidence on both sides of the Atlantic in recent quarters.

Manufacturers pushed through price increases in North America last year to offset soaring raw materials costs, helping boost Electrolux's first-quarter figures.

In Latin America, Electrolux's quarterly sales grew by 12% organically. However, the company said in a statement it did not expect demand in mature markets to recover in the first half of 2012. Mature markets account for about two-thirds of Electrolux sales

It reiterated a flat to 2% lower demand outlook for Europe this year but was more upbeat on North America, where it sees demand unchanged or rising by as much as 2%.

In North America, Electrolux chief executive Keith McLoughlin said demand there would probably be at the lower end of the company's forecast this year. However, he added positive signs were emerging in the US market, though improvements were from low levels.

"The bigger picture is what's happening in the US relative to unemployment, the housing market and consumer confidence, and they are all gradually moving in the right direction," he said.

Electrolux reported adjusted earnings before interest and tax of 943 million Swedish crowns, some 9% better than analysts expectations and up from last year's 696 million.

Electrolux said it expected earnings to improve from the first quarter to the second quarter, and that second-half earnings would be stronger than the first half and last year.

Despite a tough macro economic environment in Europe, the company said it had gained market share in the region during the January-March period, after several quarters of declines, though demand fell 1% in Europe on the same period a year ago.

The company forecast a rise of up to 500 million crowns in raw materials costs this year, in line with a previous estimate.