Better earnings boost European shares after best start of year in decades

viernes 27 de febrero de 2015 13:52 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct, gains 14 pct in 2 months

* Airbus surges after posting sharp rise in operating profits

* Index ends February up 6.7 percent

* European stocks at highest P/E ratio since 2004 (Adds detail, updates with closing prices)

By Alistair Smout and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, Feb 27 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, building on their best start to the year since regional benchmarks began in late 1986, to close at seven-year highs, supported by encouraging earnings reports.

Shares in Airbus were up 7.2 percent after it posted a rise in operating earnings and announced its biggest ever dividend. The company was the most heavily weighted gainer on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300.

Bank of Ireland rose 7.6 percent after reporting its first annual profit since the financial crisis. Shares in International Airlines Group rose 3.7 percent after it upgraded its 2015 profit forecast by more than 20 percent.

Bucking the trend, Belgian telecom company Belgacom's shares dropped 5.6 percent. Quarterly profit and 2015 forecasts came in below market expectations.   Continuación...