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May 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 23 points lower at 7,331 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.34% ahead of the cash market open.
* STAFFLINE GROUP: Staffline Group Plc said ongoing Brexit uncertainty was driving companies to move a significant number of temporary workers into permanent positions to protect against the risk of the labour market tightening, hurting its margins.
* SAGE: British software company Sage on Friday said it expects full-year organic recurring revenue growth to be at the top end of its previous forecast, underpinned by higher software subscriptions.
* HIKMA PHARMACEUTICALS: Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc on Friday backed its forecast for the full-year, boosted by higher demand for its injectable drugs and a rebound in its generics business.
* EASYJET: British budget airline easyJet warned of a tough trading environment on Friday and said revenue per seat in the second half of the year would be down as consumers are deterred by uncertainty over Brexit and economic weakness in Europe.
* RESTAURANT GROUP: Restaurant Group Plc, the owner of the Frankie & Benny’s chain, reported a 57% jump in total sales for the 19-week period ending May 12, boosted by the recent acquisition of noodle chain Wagamama and new pub openings.
* METRO BANK: Embattled British lender Metro Bank has raised 375 million pounds ($479.63 million) of vital capital to shore up its finances just hours after launching a discounted funding round on Thursday.
* LLOYDS BANKING: Lloyds Banking Group has defended the 6.3 million pound ($8.06 million) pay package awarded to chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio, after criticism from politicians and investor trade bodies.
* BT Group: The new boss of Britain’s BT Group will give each employee 500 pounds ($641) worth of shares, at a total cost of 50 million pounds, in one of his first moves to drive better performance at the telecoms giant.
* OIL: Oil prices rose again on Friday and were on track for the first weekly gains this month, as rising tensions in the Middle East stoked fears of supply disruptions.
* GOLD: Gold extended its losses on Friday, following its biggest one-day percentage loss in a month in the previous session on a firmer dollar and as a strong U.S. data, corporate results boosted investor appetite for riskier assets.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.78% higher at 7353.51 on Thursday as rallying banks and mining stocks lifted Britain’s FTSE 100, but weak earnings hit luxury brand Burberry and Thomas Cook was floored by a profit warning.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines ($1 = 0.7819 pounds)
Reporting by Adil Bhat in Bengaluru