LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - Major European stock markets are seen opening higher on Thursday, with Swiss bank Credit Suisse posting better-than-expected results and Greece on track to make progress on a new bailout deal after Athens won parliamentary approval for reforms to start talks.
Consumer-goods group Unilever also reported higher-than-expected second-quarter sales, driven by increases in its home and personal care businesses.
EuroSTOXX 50 futures were up 0.6 percent at 0810 GMT, with FTSE, DAX and CAC 40 futures posting similar gains.
Greek fears have faded in recent weeks, with investor focus shifting to the second-quarter results and the timing of an expected U.S. interest-rate hike. The latest news from Greece, where Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras contained a rebellion in his left-wing Syriza party to win a parliamentary vote, was seen as another positive for European markets.
“European equities are set to gain this morning on another successful vote in Greece,” said Jonathan Sudaria, trader at London Capital Group.
There was a handful of big corporate names reporting results on Thursday: Drugmaker Roche posted better-than-expected numbers, automaker Daimler defied a slowdown in China with a jump in operating profit and Syngenta also beat expectations.
Swiss power and automation firm ABB however said net profits fell in the second quarter due to a drop in demand for its oil and gas products, slower-than-expected business in the United States, soft demand from China and a strong dollar.
And French advertiser Publicis cut its 2015 sales forecast, warning that tougher conditions in the UK and Latin America may dampen the improvement seen in the first half.
While profit-enhancing falls in the euro and oil prices seen earlier this year are expected to have worked less of their magic on European company earnings in the second quarter, estimates point to a 5 percent rise in earnings for firms on the STOXX Europe 600 index.
The Swiss bank posted second-quarter profit ahead of expectations in a Reuters poll and its new Chief Executive said the Swiss bank will lay out a new strategy before the end of the year.
The world’s largest pesticides maker, posted better than expected earnings for the first half and highlighted the sales potential of new products under development, as it battles Monsanto’s $45 billion takeover proposal.
Switzerland’s Roche posted a 3 percent year-on-year rise in first-half sales on Thursday as demand for its oncology drugs helped offset the strength of the Swiss franc.
The Swiss engineering company said on Thursday net profit fell 8 percent in the second quarter due to sluggish demand for the Swiss company’s oil and gas products and the strong U.S. dollar.
The automaker’s second-quarter operating profit rose 54 percent as new luxury car model launches helped the carmaker defy a slowdown in car sales in China and to raise profit margins at its Mercedes-Benz Cars division.
The Swiss-American gadget maker posted a 2 percent drop in quarterly revenue, hurt by a strong dollar and falling demand for its computer accessories.
Spanish lender Bankinter reported first half net profit of 197 million euros compared to an expected 179 million euros in a Reuters poll.
The French advertiser cut its 2015 sales forecast, warning that tougher conditions in the UK and Latin America may dampen the improvement seen in the first half.
The French company said it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Cisco CSCO.O to acquire its customer premises equipment (CPE) business for $550 million in a cash and stock transaction.
The fragrance company said on Thursday it expected results for the first part of the year to be high with a current perating margin to exceed 14 percent for the first-half 2015.
Dassault Systemes raised its outlook for 2015 revenue in a range of between 2.80 billion euros to 2.82 billion euros and its 2015 non-IFR EPS growth goal to 18 percent against 15-17 percent previously.
STMicroelectronics said its third-quarter gross margin was expected to be about 35 percent, plus or minus 2.0 percentage points.
The company said operating profit rose by a third in the second quarter as it sold more of its high-margin licenses and maintenance services.
The world’s largest producer of zinc, posted better-than-expected core profit in the first half of 2015, buoyed by higher zinc prices and a stronger dollar.
Reports H1 net profit group share up 31 percent to 142 million euros ($155.23 million).
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Reporting by Lionel Laurent