* Q2 operating profit 34.7 mln euros vs 32.3 mln forecast
* Order intake 553.7 mln euros, up 22 pct yr/yr
* Shares up 3.5 pct (Adds details, CEO comment, share move)
HELSINKI, July 25 (Reuters) - Finnish crane maker Konecranes reported a bigger-than-expected rise in second-quarter operating profit on Wednesday, helped by strong sales in the United States and a weaker euro.
Konecranes shares rose 3.6 percent in early trade after the company said April-June operating profit rose 38 percent to 34.7 million euros ($41.9 million), beating analysts' average forecast for 32.3 million.
Sales increased 22 percent to 561.2 million euros, beating all forecasts in the poll. The order intake at 553.7 million euros was at the high end of estimates.
"Order intake was strong, especially once the current uncertain times are taken into account," Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark said in a statement.
The company said there were signs that the prolonged debt crisis in Europe was denting global demand. Last week its rival Cargotec, which specialises in cargo handling equipment, also said the debt crisis was hurting its outlook.
Konecranes maintained its forecast for full-year sales and operating profit to improve from 2011.
$1 = 0.8275 euros Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by Erica Billingham