* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 percent
* Electrolux, Renault, Sabadell all rise after results
* German Ifo points to strong business morale
* Greek shares up on debt deal optimism
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - European shares rose in early deals on Friday, boosted by encouraging earnings reports, with investors also cautiously optimistic over the prospects of a deal over Greece’s debt crisis.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.4 percent at 1,627.90 by 0819 GMT, reversing most of the previous session’s drop and 1.7 percent off a 2015 peak hit last week, which was its highest since 2000.
Top riser was Swedish home appliances maker Electrolux , up 6.6 percent after reporting a smaller-than-expected fall in first-quarter earnings.
Renault rose 4.3 percent after it said first-quarter revenue rose 13.7 percent, as Europe’s auto-market upturn more than made up for collapsing Russian sales and a prolonged emerging-market slump.
Spain’s Banco Sabadell rose 4.8 percent after reporting a 75 percent jump in first quarter net profit, beating expectations. Its shares have more than doubled in value since the depths of the euro zone crisis in 2012.
Of the 16 percent of STOXX 600 companies to have reported first quarter results so far, 61 percent have beaten or met expectations, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed.
Thomson Reuters data shows first quarter earnings are expected to grow 2.8 percent from the first quarter of last year.
“Now we have an economy which is starting to gather pace ... that should start to filter through into earnings,” James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts, said.
“Lending is picking up, as is consumer confidence, all of which points to an economic recovery in Europe.”
German business morale rose to its highest level in almost a year in April, a leading survey showed on Friday, in a sign that Europe’s largest economy has started the second quarter on a strong footing.
There was also optimism regarding Greece’s prospects, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had a “constructive” meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The Athens ATG index was up 3.1 percent, with banks up 8 percent.
HSBC Holdings, Europe’s biggest bank, added the most points to the FTSEurofirst 300, rising 2.6 percent after it said it has started a review of whether to move its headquarters out of Britain following regulatory and structural changes in the industry.
Capping gains, Germany’s RWE and Munich Re went ex-dividend, falling 5.2 percent and 4.3 percent respectively after trading without entitlement to their latest dividend payouts on Friday.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Editing by Andrew Heavens