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LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to climb higher on Tuesday after falling for three sessions in a row, with some better-than-expected company results seen supporting the market.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were 0.4 to 0.6 percent higher.
On the earnings front, aerospace and defence group Safran posted a 7.8 percent increase in first-quarter revenue to 4.24 billion euros; while Randstad, the world's second-largest staffing agency said core earnings grew 10 percent in the first quarter.
However, British oil major BP reported an 80 percent year on year fall in core earnings for the first quarter, but the result was better than analysts had expected.
According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 16 percent companies in the STOXX Europe 600 have reported results so far, of which half have met or beaten analyst forecasts.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit a three-month peak last week, closed 0.6 percent lower in the previous session.
British oil major BP reported an 80 percent year on year fall in core earnings for the first quarter, when oil prices touched a near 13-year low, but the result was better than analysts had expected.
German drugmaker Bayer reported 15.7 percent higher underlying core earnings for the first quarter, boosted by prescription drugs such as eye treatment Eylea.
The aerospace and defence group posted a 7.8 percent increase in first-quarter revenue to 4.24 billion euros, led by double-digit aerospace propulsion and security gains, and reaffirmed its targets for the full year.
Shares in Cobham are expected to open more than 10 percent lower as the British engineering company proposed a 500 million pounds ($724.80 million) rights issue to strengthen its balance sheet after profit plunged in its first quarter, pushing it to reduce its debt.
France's biggest telecoms operator said first-quarter core operating profit fell 1.6 percent on labour-related costs.
EU competition regulators will veto CK Hutchison Holdings' 10.3 billion-pound ($14.9 billion) deal to buy O2 UK from Spanish group Telefonica to become Britain's biggest mobile network operator, two people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
French majority state-owned naval contractor DCNS Group, a third-owned by Thales, has beaten Japan and Germany to win a A$50 billion ($40 billion) deal to build a fleet of 12 new submarines for Australia, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced.
Separately, Thyssenkrupp is keen to grow its service business for elevators in China but it will take time, the head of its elevators business told Reuters, with conversion of new installations to maintenance contracts slower than elsewhere.
Lonza Group said it expected a double-digit core EBIT growth for the first half of 2016.
The Swedish banking group reported first-quarter net earnings above market expectations as increased mortgage volumes and higher margins compensated for a challenging interest rate environment.
The Dutch supplements and materials maker said first-quarter core earnings rose 19 percent to 296 million euros, beating expectations, as nutrition volumes grew and it bettered margins amid low commodity prices.
The world's second-largest staffing agency said core earnings grew 10 percent in the first quarter, stripping out the effect of acquisitions, due to a strong French and recovering German market.
The Belgian materials group said it expected growth from its automotive catalysts and battery materials units to take its 2016 core profit up to 9 percent higher than last year.
Europe may end up with more gas than it needs if the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, designed to double the amount of gas Russia pumps to Germany via the Baltic Sea, is built, the European Union's most senior energy official said on Monday.
Whitbread said its full-year underlying pretax profit rose 11.9 percent.
The French industrial gases company said it might complete the acquisition of U.S. peer Airgas Inc faster than expected and tightened narrowed the size of its planned capital increase to refinance the deal.
The airlines said it was cancelling most of its flights to and from Munich on Wednesday as well as most domestic and many European flights to and from Frankfurt and after union Verdi called on workers to stage a strike at airports across Germany.
RWE npower will reduce operating hours at its 1,600 megawatt Aberthaw coal-fired power plant in Wales from April 1 next year, it said on Monday, as the British power sector eyes government plans for all coal plants to shut by 2025.
The industrial group will continue to buy software companies to beef up its core industrial business, its board member with responsibility for its digital factory division said on Monday.
Volkswagen has not fixed any of the 1.2 million cars in Britain affected by the diesel emissions scandal, a British transport minister said on Monday, despite the company having said it had begun software modifications to some models.
The steelmaker reported a slump in first-quarter pretax profit and reiterated its expectation that it would break even on the pretax level this year.
Conforama parent Steinhoff said it was considering its next move after the French retailer tabled a "final" 170 pence-per-share offer for electronics chain Darty, upstaging Conforama's earlier 160p bid.
The Finnish chemicals maker reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter on the back of improved sales and profitability at its pulp and paper chemicals unit.
ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development). In a real-time, multimedia format from 0600 London time through the 1630 closing bell, it will include the best of our market reporting, Stocks Buzz service, Eikon graphics, Reuters pictures, eye-catching research and market zeitgeist. Breaking news and dramatic market moves will continue to be alerted to all clients and we will continue to provide a short opening story and comprehensive closing reports.
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)