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Feb 28 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 53 points lower at 7,230 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.7 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* WHITBREAD: Whitbread Plc, Britain’s biggest hotel and coffee shop operator, said on Wednesday it had bought 19 hotels in Germany to expand its business beyond its base of Premier Inns in Britain.
* ST JAMES PLACE: British wealth manager St James’s Place on Wednesday posted a 36 percent rise in full-year operating profit, as market gains and strong inflows of client cash boosted total assets to a record high.
* ITV: British broadcaster ITV reported a 5 percent drop in adjusted full-year earnings, reflecting the tough advertising environment facing new chief executive Carolyn McCall.
* INFORMA/UBM: British event organiser Informa Plc and its takeover target UBM Plc reported a rise in adjusted full-year earnings on Wednesday, helped by strength in their events businesses.
* MAN GROUP: British hedge fund company Man Group said on Wednesday funds under management rose 35 percent to $109.1 billion in 2017, buoyed by net inflows of client money as well as market and currency gains.
* ADMIRAL: British motor insurer Admiral said it would pay a special dividend and was considering setting up an EU subsidiary in Spain as a result of Brexit, as it posted an above-forecast 43 percent rise in 2017 pre-tax profit.
* BHP: Australia’s BHP is offering to sell a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from Australia’s North West Shelf export plant, three traders said on Wednesday.
* TRAVIS PERKINS: Travis Perkins, Britain’s biggest supplier of building materials, said on Wednesday it would slow investment in non-priority areas as it reported a 7 percent fall in annual core earnings, a second straight decline.
* FOXTONS: London-focussed estate agents Foxtons posted a worse-than-expected 65 percent fall in 2017 profit on Wednesday which it blamed on the capital’s once booming property market slumping to “historic lows.”
* EUROPEAN INSURERS: The Bank of England will not “go soft” on enforcing European Union capital rules for insurers, but will look at ways to make it easier for new entrants to boost competition in the industry, its deputy governor Sam Woods said on Tuesday.
* UK ENERGY: The market share of Britain’s big six energy firms of domestic customers in the country fell to a record low in 2017, as smaller rivals lured customers away with cheaper deals, energy regulator Ofgem said on Wednesday. Britain’s big six energy suppliers are Centrica’s British Gas, SSE , E.ON, EDF Energy, Innogy’s Npower and Iberdrola’s Scottish Power.
* UK CAR OUTPUT: British car production was flat in January as a rise in exports outweighed a drop in domestic demand, an industry body said on Wednesday.
* BUSINESS SENTIMENT: The mood among British consumers and businesses worsened slightly in February, according to surveys on Wednesday that suggested the economy remains on a steady but slow course ahead of Brexit.
* Comcast’s bid for pay-TV group Sky and strong results from housebuilder Persimmon helped keep Britain’s FTSE 100 on an even keel on Tuesday, as investors digested the first public comments from new Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. The UK blue chip index closed down 0.1 percent at 7,282.45 points.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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