Volvo stuck to its forecast for 2011 truck market sales and cut its outlook for the market for construction equipment due to a softer China, when reporting second-quarter earnings that met expectations.

During the second quarter, the Volvo Group's sales continued to grow as an effect of a continued recovery in the group's mature markets and continued strong demand in emerging markets, chief executive Leif Johansson said on Friday.

The Swedish group reported operating profit rose 60 percent to 7.65 billion Swedish crowns ($1.20 billion), compared with a forecast 7.67 billion in a Reuters poll.

It repeated a forecast for the truck markets in Europe and North America to amount to 230,000-240,000 units each this year.

It expected the Japanese market to recover from a 26 percent fall in the first half after the March earthquake and tsunami.

For the full year the (Japanese) market is expected to amount to about 23,000 heavy trucks, a decrease of 6 percent, it said.

The group downgraded its outlook for the market of its second-largest division, construction equipment, to growth of 15-25 percent from 20-30 percent.

The Chinese market has slowed down as a consequence of measures by the government to curtail inflation, it said, adding it had boosted its position as Chinese market leader.

(Reporting by Patrick Lannin and Simon Johnson; Editing by Dan Lalor)