(Adds futures, company news)
EDINBURGH, June 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index was set to edge higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures on the index rising 0.1 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* On Wednesday, the UK blue chip index ended 0.5 percent, or 34.68 points, lower at 6,838.87, pressured by stocks trading without entitlement to their latest dividend payout and a sharp decline in Rolls-Royce following the cancellation of a major plane order.
* IMPERIAL TOBACCO - The British tobacco firm is evaluating a deal for assets likely to be divested from Reynolds American Inc and Lorillard Inc if the two U.S. tobacco companies proceed with a proposed combination, according to people familiar with the matter.
* ASTRAZENECA - The UK’s second biggest drugmaker has struck a deal worth up to $232 million in milestone payments to license in rights to a drug from Synairgen for viral-induced exacerbation in asthma.
* INSURERS - Britain’s competition watchdog will announce on Thursday sweeping reforms of the car insurance industry that are designed to reduce costs for motorists, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.
* MULBERRY‘S - The English luxury handbag maker’s like-for-like retail sales fell 15 percent in the 10 weeks to June 7, it said on Thursday, after an ill-fated upmarket drive, now being reversed, took its toll on demand.
* PZ CUSSONS - The British soap and shampoo maker said full-year performance was in line with management expectations, with pretax profit before exceptional items expected to rise about 6 percent from the previous year.
* HALMA - British health and safety device maker Halma reported a 9 percent rise in full-year profit, helped by strong growth in China.
* PREMIER OIL - Oil and gas explorer Premier Oil said on Thursday it had received government approval for its North Sea Catcher area fields which are expected to start production in 2017.
* PETS AT HOME - Britain’s biggest pet food and accessories retailer, which listed on the stock market in March, met targets with a 12.4 percent rise in annual earnings on Thursday.
* HOME RETAIL - Britain’s biggest household goods retailer said it was on course to meet annual profit forecasts after posting strong quarterly sales growth at both its Argos and Homebase businesses.
* KINGFISHER - The home improvement retailer said that Philippe Tible, CEO Castorama & Brico Dépôt brands, will step down from board at end of July.
* BOOHOO.COM - The online fashion retailer posted a 63 percent rise in revenue.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Blaise Robinson)