Weak corporate figures weigh on European stock markets
* SABMiller, Nestle give weak updates
* FTSEurofirst 300 and Euro STOXX 50 slip
* Ukraine tensions also weigh
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Weak updates from leading European companies weighed on the region's stock markets on Tuesday, and the threat of costly sanctions against Russia also capped appetite for equities.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which rose 16 percent in 2013 to post its best annual gain since 2009, slipped 0.2 percent to 1,317.14 points in early session trading.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index retreated by 0.3 percent to 3,121.04 points.
European shares have rallied over the last year, helped by pledges from the European Central Bank (ECB) to support the economy in its recovery from the effects of the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis.
But this has also led stock market valuations higher, and many investors have said that companies now need to show a strong recovery in profits in order to keep the rally on track. Continuación...