(Adds futures, company news)
Aug 23 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 18 points lower at 7,557 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* PREMIER OIL: Premier Oil’s profit after tax more than doubled in the first half of 2018 to $98.4 million helped by higher oil prices, it said on Thursday, reiterating that it expected output to reach 80,000-85,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year.
* PHOENIX GROUP: Phoenix Group Holdings expects to generate more cash than its originally targeted 1 billion pounds ($1.28 billion) to 1.2 billion pounds for 2017 and 2018, Britain’s largest owner of life assurance funds closed to new customers said on Thursday.
* PLAYTECH: Gaming and casino software maker Playtech’s half-year adjusted profit fell 34 percent, rattled by lower revenue from Asia due to competition and tougher regulation.
* ONESAVINGS BANK: Specialised lender OneSavings Bank Plc saw first-half underlying pre-tax profit jump 17.1 percent as its focus on mortgage lending to bigger, professional landlords paid off.
* SKY-COMCAST-FOX: Comcast Corp said it had received valid acceptances for shares representing just 0.21 percent of Sky Plc after its 14.75 pound per share offer to buy 61 percent of the European broadcaster.
* SHELL: A fire which broke out at a Shell-owned chemical plant on the same site as Essar Oil UK’s Stanlow refinery in northwestern England on Wednesday has been extinguished.
* PLAYTECH: Casino and gaming software maker Playtech gave its chairman Alan Jackson a pay hike of 66,000 pounds-a-year, Sky News reported on Wednesday. bit.ly/2N9Mes4
* GSK: A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday tossed a $3 million verdict against GlaxoSmithKline over the suicide of an attorney who took a generic version of the company’s antidepressant Paxil, finding the company could not be held liable for injuries allegedly caused by a generic copy.
* SPORTS DIRECT: Proxy adviser Glass Lewis & Co has recommended that shareholders in British sportswear retailer Sports Direct International Plc SPD.L vote against some directors, including Chief Executive Mike Ashley and Chairman Keith Hellawell, at the company’s annual meeting on Sept. 12.
* SHAZAM: Apple is set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval for its planned acquisition of British music discovery app Shazam, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
* BREXIT: Britain will step up its planning for a no-deal Brexit on Thursday as it publishes a series of notes advising people and businesses how to protect themselves from the potential disruption of a clean break with the European Union.
* EX-DIVS: Berkeley Group, Carnival Plc, Croda International, Imperial Brands, London Stock Exchange Group , Mondi Plc, Paddy Power Betfair, Prudential Plc , Royal Bank of Scotland will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 4.24 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.1 percent higher at 7,574.24 points on Wednesday in cautious trade as investors kept an eye on U.S.-China trade talks and politics in Washington, while heavyweight energy stocks supported the broader market.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Justin George Varghese)