(Adds closing prices)
* FTSEurofirst 300 gains 0.65 pct
* Ahold, Henkel also rally after results
* Osram slumps after new strategy poorly received
* Overall earnings picture remains mixed
By Alistair Smout and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, Nov 11 (Reuters) - European shares ended higher on Wednesday after well-received earnings reports from companies including Henkel and as Carlsberg’s new management outlined restructuring plans, sending the brewing group’s shares soaring.
The FTSEurofirst 300 rose 0.65 percent, adding to a 0.2 percent gain in the previous session. The index is down 0.3 percent this week on fears of a possible interest rate rise by the U.S. Federal Reserve in December after strong jobs data.
With European stocks near three-month highs, some said there was enough bullish sentiment to withstand a rise in rates.
“If there’s a one-off rate rise from the Fed, the market has enough appetite in it to take it in its stride,” TJM Partners head of trading Manoj Ladwa said. “But going forwards, there’s still loose monetary policy in place from the European Central Bank, and that’s largely supportive of equities.”
Denmark’s Carlsberg rose as much as 9 percent after it said it would book a $1.4 billion impairment charge and cut staff. Analysts welcomed the steps, saying the brewer’s earnings contained no negative surprises. Its shares ended up 6.2 percent.
Henkel rose 6.7 percent after the German consumer goods group posted a bigger-than-expected increase in third-quarter profit.
Supermarket group Ahold also rose, gaining 3.4 percent after meeting net sales forecasts and reporting free cash flow that was ahead of last year‘s. Belgium’s Delhaize got a boost from its merger partner’s results.
However, Vivendi was down 5.8 percent after the French media company reported lower third-quarter operating profit after the market close on Tuesday, as its music and pay-television units struggled with competition and subscriber losses.
It also posted weaker-than-expected profits.
Mediaset fell more than 9 percent after the TV broadcaster, controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, raised its cost guidance and gave a cautious outlook for the fourth quarter.
Osram shares tumbled 28 percent, its biggest one-day fall, after the German lighting group announced a 3 billion-euro growth plan following the disposal of its lamps business.
The earnings season has so far been mixed. With roughly four fifths of companies having reported, 50 percent of them have missed expectations, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.
“Analysts have low-balled expectations anyway ... so for earnings to come in weaker when expectations have already been lowered, it’s a concern,” TJM’s Ladwa said.
JP Morgan Cazenove said the number of forecast-beating earnings in Europe undershot by 7 percent, although once energy was stripped out, the euro zone recorded stronger earnings growth than the United States and Japan, up 6 percent year-on-year.
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Louise Ireland/Ruth Pitchford)