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UPDATE 1-Higher demand in Japan, Europe helps JA Solar post profit

(Adds details, shares)

May 8 (Reuters) - China's JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd posted a first-quarter profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, driven by higher demand for its panels in Japan and Europe.

JA Solar's shares rose 6 percent in premarket trading.

The company said it expected shipments of between 670 megawatts (MW) and 700 MW in the current quarter ending June, up from the 638.1 MW it shipped in the first quarter.

JA Solar had forecast shipments of 610 MW for the first quarter.

"Shipments to Japan increased sequentially, while demand in Europe remained healthy ...," Chief Executive Baofang Jin said in a statement.

The company posted a net profit of $13.7 million, or 23 cents per American depositary share (ADS), in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a net loss of $33.3 million, or 85 cents per ADS, a year earlier.

Revenue rose about 36 percent to $366 million.

JA Solar's shares were up 5.6 percent at $10.48 before the bell on Thursday. The shares, which more than doubled in the last one year, closed at $9.85 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

(Reporting By Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)