(Adds company news and futures)
Jan 25 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 2 points lower at 7641.6 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.33 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* DECHRA: Veterinary firm Dechra Pharmaceuticals Plc said it would buy the Netherlands-based AST Farma and Europe-focused Le Vet for 340 million euros ($422.1 million) in a cash and share deal.
* GREENE KING: British pub operator Greene King Plc on Thursday said comparable sales for its pub business for the two weeks covering Christmas and New Year’s eve rose 1.6 percent.
* CMC MARKETS: Spreadbetting firm CMC Markets Plc said on Thursday its revenue per client surged 33 percent in the third quarter, as its focus on high-value clients helped offset challenges from a sector-wide regulatory clamp-down and lower levels of volatility.
* RESTAURANT GROUP: Britain’s Restaurant Group, the owner of the Frankie & Benny’s chain, said on Thursday 2017 comparable sales fell 3 percent on challenging market conditions.
* ANGLO AMERICAN: Miner Anglo American on Thursday reported a 5 percent increase in 2017 output citing improved productivity and the removal of less profitable ounces.
* FOXTONS: London-focussed estate agents Foxtons said its core earnings and revenue fell in 2017 in line with market expectations due to a slump in sales and that this year would remain challenging for the business.
* DIAGEO: Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, reported a 1.7 percent increase in half-year sales on Thursday, as growth was curbed by foreign exchange rates and issues including a later Chinese New Year and a ban on selling alcohol near Indian highways.
* SKY: European TV group Sky posted a 5 percent rise in first-half revenue to 6.7 billion pounds ($9.6 billion) and said it had attracted 365,000 new customers, taking its base to 22.9 million.
* ASOS: British online fashion retailer ASOS on Thursday beat forecasts for sales growth in the key Christmas period, putting it firmly in the sector’s winners’ camp for festive trading.
* CARILLION/INSURERS: Insurers expect to pay out 31 million pounds ($44 million) in trade credit claims to suppliers hit by the collapse of British construction and outsourcing firm Carillion, the Association of British Insurers said on Thursday.
* LAMPRELL: Oil rig builder Lamprell PLC said on Wednesday it expects full-year revenue to be at the lower end of its guidance range due to losses at its East Anglia One offshore windfarm project (EA1 project).
* CONGO MINING CODE: Democratic Republic of Congo’s new proposed mining code, which the industry has warned will stifle investment in the copper and cobalt-rich nation, sailed through the Senate without opposition late on Wednesday. In a statement last month, several of Congo’s largest mines, including projects operated by Swiss-based commodities giant Glencore and London-listed Randgold Resources, said investors would look elsewhere if the code were approved by the Senate and signed into law by the president.
* OIL/GAS SPENDING: More global oil and gas firms expect to increase capital spending this year as confidence picks up after crude prices climbed above $70 a barrel in January for the first time in the three years, according to a survey by DNV.
* EX-DIVS: No FTSE 100 companies will go ex-dividend on Thursday, although several mid-caps will go ex-div, after which investors will no longer qualify for the latest dividend payout.
* The UK blue chip index ended the session down 1.1 percent at a three-week low of 7,643.43 points on Wednesday as sterling was pushed to a post-Brexit-vote high by data showing that the number of people in work had surged unexpectedly.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru)