(Updates futures, adds company news items)
Jan 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 14 points higher on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.3 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed 1.5 percent lower at 7,220.38 points, posting its biggest one-day drop since June 2016 on Tuesday, with a jump in sterling following Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on Brexit hurting dollar-earning companies.
* PEARSON: Troubled British publisher Pearson cut its profit outlook for the next two years, lowered its 2017 dividend and said it may sell its stake in Penguin Random House to help it battle the “unprecedented” changes hitting key markets.
German media group Bertelsmann may raise its stake in book publisher Penguin Random House, its joint venture with Britain’s Pearson, it said on Wednesday after Pearson said it intended to issue an exit note.
* BURBERRY: British luxury brand Burberry reported a better-than-expected 3 percent rise in comparable retail sales in its third quarter, helped by an “exceptional” performance in the UK where trading was up by about 40 percent.
* MITIE: British outsourcing firm Mitie announced a change of finance chief on Wednesday as it issued its third profit warning since September, saying business continued to be affected by customers delaying placing orders due to uncertainty following the Brexit vote.
* JD WETHERSPOON: British pubs group JD Wetherspoon Plc sees significantly higher costs and lower like-for-like sales in the next six months, it said on Wednesday, as it reported higher sales for the last quarter.
* EXPERIAN: Experian Plc, the world’s biggest credit data company, reported a 6 percent rise in third-quarter revenue from ongoing activities at constant exchange rates and reaffirmed its full-year organic revenue growth forecast.
* PREMIER FOODS: Premier Foods Plc, the maker of British brands such as Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy, cut its full-year profit forecast by 10 percent on Wednesday after saying its third-quarter sales had been weaker than expected.
* BT GROUP: Britain’s telecoms regulator Ofcom slapped a 2.7 million pound ($3.3 million) fine on EE, the mobile operator owned by BT Group, after an investigation found that it had overcharged nearly 40,000 customers.
* THOMAS COOK: British tour operator Thomas Cook started evacuating nearly 1,000 holidaymakers from Gambia on Wednesday after President Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency on his final day in office, increasing the chances of civil unrest.
* DEUTSCHE BOERSE/LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE: Germany and the European Central Bank are pushing harder for Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange to give Frankfurt a greater role once they merge, now Britain is leaving the European Union, people involved said.
* ROLLS-ROYCE: Rolls-Royce Plc agreed to pay authorities more than $800 million to resolve charges of bribing officials in six countries in schemes that lasted more than a decade, the U.S. Justice Department and UK Serious Fraud Office said in statements on Tuesday.
* VEDANTA RESOURCES: Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), owned by global conglomerate Vedanta Resources PLC, will pay the first tranche of a $100 million fine to the Zambian government by the end of month, the country’s investment firm said on Tuesday.
Vedanta Resources Chairman Anil Agarwal said on Wednesday that he was looking forward to wrap up Cairn India merger in this fiscal year that ends in March, Television channel ET NOW reported.
* MASTERCARD/VOCALINK: Britain’s competition watchdog said on Wednesday that Mastercard’s proposals might be acceptable in addressing its concerns over the acquisition of payments processing company Vocalink.
* DIAGEO: Diageo Plc, which makes Johnnie Walker Scotch and Smirnoff vodka, is mulling an increase of its majority stake in India's United Spirits Ltd, although no final decision has been made yet, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. (bloom.bg/2jlUhE6)
* ADVERTISING SPEND: British companies spent 2.1 percent more on advertising last year, according to an industry forecast, after a strong fourth quarter, although spending on advertising is set to fall 0.7 percent in 2017 as Brexit uncertainties weigh.
* UK REFERENDUM: Ireland’s central bank has had over 100 inquiries from UK financial firms considering moving operations as a result of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Tuesday.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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