Home appliances maker Electrolux reported second quarter earnings above market expectations and forecast growth in white goods markets in both Western Europe and the US.

Electrolux, which sells under brands such as AEG, Zanussi and Frigidaire as well as its own name, said market demand in Western Europe continued to strengthen while ongoing cost savings boosted profits. 

The company's chief executive Keith McLoughlin said the home appliances market was expected to grow 1-2% in Europe this year and he appeared a tad more upbeat on North America with a 3-5% forecast.

In the previous quarter he predicted growth in the latter region was seen at the lower end of that range. 

"Operations in North America reported good organic growth, mainly driven by high sales volumes of air-conditioners," McLoughlin said in a statement. 

In Eastern Europe, demand fell by 23%, as a result of the sharp downturn in Russia and Ukraine, he added. 

The Latin American market was also challenging, the company said. 

The company, battling for market leadership with America's Whirlpool and Korea's LG Electronics, said operating earnings rose to 921 million crowns ($107.7m).

This compared to 63 million crowns the same time last year and above a mean forecast of 760 million in a Reuters poll of analysts. 

McLoughlin said results were still impacted in North America by increased costs to adapt product lines and the ramp-up of a plant in Memphis. 

Electrolux's $3.3 billion deal to buy the GE Appliances business faces a lawsuit from the US Justice Department to stop the purchase, arguing that it would hurt competition in the market for cooking appliances. 

McLoughlin repeated that his company would "vigourously contest" the move to block what would be the biggest acquisition in the Swedish company's history and more than double its annual US sales.