(Adds company news items)
March 2 Britain's FTSE 100 futures were largely flat
ahead of the cash market open on Thursday.
* MERLIN: Britain's Merlin Entertainments, operator of tourist
attractions such as Madame Tussauds waxworks and Legoland, on Tuesday reported a
3.4 percent rise in 2016 pre-tax profit and said it remained confident it could
deliver a good year ahead.
* COBHAM: British engineer Cobham said it would raise 500 million
pounds ($614 million) in a rights issue to put the company on a stronger footing
after a "deeply disappointing" performance in 2016.
* TRAVIS PERKINS: Travis Perkins, Britain's biggest supplier of
building materials, reported a 1 percent fall in full-year core earnings, hurt
by a weak performance in its plumbing and heating business, a division which is
* HASTINGS: British insurer Hastings Group Holdings Plc reported a
5 percent jump in full-year operating profit on Thursday, driven by as it
increased customers and market share.
* GOCOMPARE: Price comparison website Gocompare.Com Group Plc
reported a 30 percent jump in full-year operating profit, adjusting for the
costs of listing and share-based payment charges.
* ALDERMORE: Aldermore Group Plc reported a 34 percent jump in
full-year profit as the British bank issued more mortgages and loans to
homeowners as well as small and medium enterprises.
* MELROSE: Engineering turnaround specialist Melrose Industries PLC's
full-year revenue more than tripled, helped in part by its acquisition
on U.S. ventilation and home security products maker Nortek Industries.
* CAPITA: British outsourcing group Capita said its chief executive
Andy Parker would step down after the group reported a 19 percent fall in 2016
underlying pre-tax profit, missing forecasts again.
* HSBC: Lawyers for the U.S. government and HSBC Holdings Plc on
Wednesday urged a federal appeals court to block release of a court-appointed
monitor's report on how HSBC is working to improve its money laundering
* JAGUAR LAND ROVER: Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Ralf
Speth supported Nissan Motor Co's calls for additional funds for
car-parts makers while saying there must be "fair play", for all UK automakers,
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. bloom.bg/2m9kaKI
* BP: BP agreed on Wednesday to buy Clean Energy Fuels Corp's
biomethane production assets for $155 million, expanding its huge gas
supply portfolio in the United States and showing its shift to less
* EX-DIVS: Barclays and RSA will trade without entitlement
to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 1.78 points off the FTSE
100, according to Reuters calculations.
* OIL: Crude oil fell for a third consecutive session on Thursday as a
record build-up in U.S. stockpiles weighed on the market, with producers
boosting shale oil production.
* BREXIT: Prime Minister Theresa May will seek to use her majority in
parliament's lower chamber to overturn a defeat her government suffered in the
upper chamber on legislation allowing her to trigger Brexit, a government source
said on Wednesday.
* BREXIT: Britain believes a post-Brexit free trade deal with the European
Union would ease problems that its withdrawal from the EU will create on the
Irish border, London's Northern Ireland minister said on Wednesday.
* The UK blue chip index closed 1.6 percent higher at 7,382.90 points, its
highest level ever on Wednesday, with commodities-related stocks tracking
stronger metals, while banks gained on expectations of further hikes in U.S.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)