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* FTSE 100 up 0.1 pct
* Mid-caps touch new record high
* Whitbread sinks on weak sales, tougher outlook
* Carpetright shares dented by slowing sales growth
* Healthcare stocks rise on European dealmaking
By Helen Reid
LONDON, April 25 British shares edged up on
Tuesday as a strong Europe-wide market rally after the first
round of the French election dissipated, with investors' focus
back on corporate results which indicated tougher times ahead
for consumer goods stocks.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.2 percent,
with energy and healthcare stocks supporting gains while
earnings were mixed.
The FTSE's rise on Monday had been modest compared to
European and French benchmarks, with investors flagging
obstacles ahead for the UK market.
"The UK has its own esoteric risks at the moment, with its
own election and the bigger ongoing Brexit issue," said Laura
Foll, Henderson UK equity income and growth manager.
Restaurant and pub owner Whitbread, and floor-covering
retailer Carpetright, were the top blue-chip and small-cap
fallers after their results were hit by slowing sales growth,
adding to evidence of deteriorating UK consumer confidence.
Whitbread was on course for its worst day since the
Brexit vote last June, down 7.4 percent after it indicated
tougher times were ahead, saying it expected consumer confidence
to dip this year.
Its Costa Coffee chain saw like-for-like sales fall, and
margins down 0.8 percentage points year on year due to a rise in
the minimum wage.
"[The valuation] feels fairly full to us, reflecting
embedded value within Whitbread's core two brands, but with
waning UK consumer dynamics likely to cap near-term growth
prospects," Panmure Gordon analysts said.
Small-cap Carpetright, Britain's biggest floor
covering retailer, fell 7.3 percent after the firm said full
year profit would be at the lower end of market expectations,
also citing tougher trading conditions.
Some of the stocks that rallied most on Monday fell back on
Tuesday, with Kingfisher, whose French exposure made it
especially sensitive to the post-election rally, down 1.4
Miners Antofagasta, Anglo American and Randgold Resources
fell 1.3 to 2 percent, holding back the blue-chips.
Goldman Sachs cut Anglo American to neutral in a broader
downgrade of the mining sector, citing the commodity price
Healthcare stocks Hikma and Shire were top
gainers, up 1.3 to 1.7 percent, tracking gains in the
Europe-wide pharma sector after Fresenius
picked up the pace of dealmaking with its acquisiton of U.S.
Akorn Inc and an arm of Merck.
The mid-caps touched a new record high in early
trading, up 0.2 percent.
Chemicals firm Elementis jumped 5.6 percent after
its trading update showed strong growth in personal care and
energy business sectors, and it reiterated aims to grow
operating profit across its three segments this year.
(Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Angus MacSwan)