LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat on Thursday, with June futures on the index flat at 0625 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 6.28 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,851.22 points on Wednesday, leaving it just 0.6 percent shy of its high for the year.
* KINGFISHER : Europe’s No. 1 home improvement retailer posted a 20 percent surge in first quarter retail profit and said it would pay a 100 million pound ($167 million) special dividend as part of its new plans for extra shareholder rewards.
* SEVERN TRENT : The British water company reported a 7 percent rise in annual underlying pre-tax profit to 269.1 million pounds ($449.6 million), beating analyst consensus.
* TATE & LYLE : The British food ingredients firm reported lower full-year earnings on Thursday, hurt by a dramatic drop in prices of its sucralose sweetener and weak sales of soft drinks in the United States.
* MAN GROUP : The hedge fund manager said on Thursday that it noted recent press speculation and confirmed it was in talks over a possible acquisition of Numeric Holdings.
* ELECTRA : The UK private equity firm on Thursday reported a 5 percent rise in net asset value per share to 2,914 pence ($48.68) in the half-year to the end of March 2014 and said it had seen a record level of investment for a six-month period.
* ROLLS-ROYCE HOLDINGS : The industrial group won a contract, worth 35 million pounds ($58.47 million), to design and equip a large offshore support vessel for Norwegian ship owner Island Offshore.
* CENTRICA /AGGREKO : Britain’s Centrica said on Thursday that Chris Weston, the head of its international downstream division, would leave the company to become the new chief executive of power provider Aggreko.
* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP The bank has hired a female KPMG partner to head its audit operations as the state-backed group attempts to increase the number of senior female executives, Sky News reported late Wednesday.
* CENTRICA PLC : The chiefs of British Gas and its parent company, Centrica, are close to stepping down as part of a management shake-up at Britain’s biggest energy supplier, Sky News reported on Wednesday.
* MITCHELLS & BUTLERS : The British pubs group has entered exclusive talks to acquire rival Orchid pub company for more than 250 million pounds after outbidding private equity firms Colony Capital and Starwood Capital, The Times reported late Wednesday.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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