Robust earnings help European shares extend rally ahead of ECB
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct, hovers below 7-year high
* ECB to detail quantitative easing programme
* European earnings up 22 pct, best season since mid-2011
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) - European shares rose in early trading on Thursday, with a batch of robust company results from firms including Carrefour and Schroders boosting sentiment.
Investors also awaited the European Central bank meeting at which it is set to give further details on its massive bond-buying programme.
Shares in Carrefour rose 1.8 percent after the world's second-largest retailer said it would boost capital expenditure this year as it seeks to cement a revival of its European hypermarkets.
The British fund manager Schroders was up 2.5 percent after reporting a better-than-expected jump in its 2014 pretax profit as net inflows more than tripled to 24.8 billion pounds.
About 80 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have reported results so far, posting a 22 percent surge in quarterly profits, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data, making for Europe's best earnings season since mid-2011. Continuación...