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UPDATE 1-Assa Abloy Q4 profit beats forecast, China sales stable in weak market

market@

* Q4 EBIT 3.4 bln SEK vs consensus 3.3 bln

Q4 organic growth 5 pct vs consensus 4 pct

* CEO: China, Brazil markets still weak

* CEO: Positive trend elsewhere, especially in Europe (Adds detail, background)

STOCKHOLM, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Assa Abloy beat fourth-quarter operating profit expectations helped by higher European demand and stable Chinese sales, the world's biggest lock maker said on Tuesday.

The Swedish company, which makes the bulk of its sales to construction sectors in Europe and North America, said operating profit was 3.4 billion crowns ($421 million) compared with a year-earlier profit before restructuring charges of 2.9 billion.

The mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts had been for 3.3 billion.

Assa Abloy's closely watched organic sales growth, which strips out the impact of acquisitions, accelerated to 5 percent from 1 percent a year earlier and beat a forecast 4 percent as demand picked up in its European and high-tech locks businesses.

"My judgment is that the global economic trend has improved to some degree compared with last year. On most markets, especially in Europe, there is a positive trend, but on some markets, such as China and Brazil, demand remains weak," Chief Executive Johan Molin said.

The company also proposed raising its dividend to 3.30 crowns per share from 3.00 crowns, against a median forecast of 3.18 crowns, and its shares were outperforming the broader market in Stockholm in early trade with a 0.3 percent fall.

Assa Abloy said its sales in China, where demand has been falling following a building boom, stabilized in the quarter.

Molin flagged in October that the Chinese market looked positive compared with a year earlier, indicating a possible leveling-out of demand for Assa Abloy's products.

China is still a relatively small market for Assa Abloy but one where it is looking to grow over the long term. Organic sales growth in the Asia Pacific division was 3 percent in the quarter, narrowly beating expectations.

Long-serving Molin last year announced plans to resign and the company has appointed former Metso top executive Nico Delvaux to replace him as of next month.

($1 = 7.9768 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Niklas Pollard and Mark Potter)