(Adds company news items and .FTSE movement)
Sept 11 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index opened flat at 7,279.30 points on Tuesday.
* ASHTEAD: Industrial equipment rental firm Ashtead Group Plc expects full-year earnings to beat its previous expectations after a 20 percent rise in profit in the first quarter on the back of higher margins and revenue at its U.S. business.
* JD SPORTS: JD Sports reported an 18.7 percent rise in first-half earnings on Tuesday, as demand for its sportswear rose and it expanded overseas, helping it overpower what it called “retail challenges” in its UK home market.
* HILTON FOOD GROUP: British food packer Hilton Food Group said on Tuesday its adjusted operating profit rose 25.3 percent, helped by higher sales from Ireland and Australia, and Seachill acquisition.
* VECTURA: British drugmaker Vectura Group Plc is reviewing its stockpiles of drugs and key components as part of its mitigation plan for a “no-deal” Brexit and warned on Tuesday of a potential disruption to supply chains and higher costs.
* ELEMENTIS: Speciality chemicals company Elementis Plc said on Tuesday it would buy Mondo Minerals from U.S. private equity firm Advent International for an enterprise value of $500 million, lower than the $600 million it had agreed in June.
* HIKMA: A U.S. appeals court on Monday invalidated Acorda Therapeutics Inc patents covering its multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra, opening the door for generic competition for Acorda’s flagship product.
* RYANAIR: German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) on Monday called a 24-hour strike affecting all Ryanair flights out of Germany on Wednesday to push its demands in talks with the Irish carrier on wages and work conditions.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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