UPDATE 2-ABB says Europe demand helping to offset China slump
* Europe's thirst for technology driving sales
* China, oil and gas, mining remain weak
* Shares rise 4 percent (Recasts story to focus on Europe, cost cuts)
By John Miller
ZURICH, April 20 (Reuters) - Swiss engineer ABB said that demand in Europe for energy efficient technology and cost cuts had helped it to beat first quarter profit forecasts despite weaker demand from Chinese customers and the oil and mining industries.
ABB Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer, under pressure from activist investor Cevian Capital to improve performance, has been cutting jobs at businesses making motors, drives, transformers and oil-industry measurement products to help offset falling sales.
"2016 will be characterized by continued market headwinds and uncertainties," Spiesshofer said on a call.
"Therefore, we need to focus on tapping the growth opportunities that are there and realizing the benefits of our new leaner structure."
Investors reacted positively and ABB shares rose 4 percent by 0820 GMT, extending their gain this year to more than 12 percent. Continuación...