UPDATE 2-Volvo shares at 3-year high as U.S. sales accelerate and cost cuts kick in
* Q1 core EBIT 2.6 bln SEK vs forecast 2.5 bln
* Sees 2014 N.America market of 260,000 heavy trucks
* Lowers guidance for Brazil due to economic slowdown
* Shares up 0.8 pct, hit highest in nearly 3 years (Adds CEO comment, detail, share price)
By Niklas Pollard and Johannes Hellstrom
STOCKHOLM, April 25 (Reuters) - World number two truck maker Volvo AB raised its outlook for the North American market and reported the first savings from a drive to cut costs across the sprawling group, sending its shares to their highest in nearly three years.
Truck makers are heading into 2014 with U.S. demand gaining pace, while an anticipated hangover in Europe following a buying spree of older but cheaper trucks ahead of new emission rules is offset by a firmer economy and a growing need to replace ageing fleets.
Volvo, vying for market leadership with Germany's Daimler AG , said demand was improving in mature economies on both sides of the North Atlantic and in Japan, though emerging markets in South America and Asia were slowing somewhat.
"We see a gradual improvement in sentiment on the European market ... we have adapted our capacity accordingly and we start to see the effects from the efficiency program now coming into our results," Chief Executive Olof Persson said. Continuación...