- The FTSE 100 starts more or less flat on Thursday despite mounting tensions between the US and Russia over Syria.

Over 50s insurer and travel provider Saga (SAGA) reports a 7.6% drop in pre-tax profit for its January 2018 financial year, reflecting the impact of a refinancing carried out during the period. However underlying profit was up slightly and the shares gained 7.1% to 125.3p in response.

Travel operator FirstGroup (FGP) advanced 9.6% to 111.6p after the company rebuffed an offer from US private equity firm Apollo Management. The company did not reveal any financial details about the approach but said it 'fundamentally' undervalued the company.

Shares in broadcaster ITV (ITV) were down 4.4% at 143.6p as they traded ex-dividend.

Bookseller and stationer WH Smith (SMWH) saw group profit fall 1% year-on-year in the six months to 28 February 2018 thanks to a lack of new publishing trends over Christmas. Shares in the company fell 0.25% to £19.74.

Carpet seller Carpetright (CPR) said Thursday it expected to report a small underlying pre-tax loss for the year ending 28 April 2018, and confirmed it finalised the terms of a company voluntary arrangement. The shares fell 6.8% to 39.1p in response

Recruiter Hays (HAS) reported Thursday net fees increased 9% on a headline basis and 10% on a like-for-like basis in the third quarter against the prior year, as strong performance in its international business offsetting subdued UK performance. Its shares dipped 0.9% to 184.5p.

Pub operator Greene King (GNK) traded 8.7% higher at 502.4p despite sales being hit by the recent cold weather. Easter trading was strong with sales up 2.8% like-for-like on the same Bank Holiday last year.

Betting software firm Playtech (PTEC) was up 8% to 822p after it announced the acquisition of 71% of Italian gaming firm Snaitech for €846m, funded by cash and new debt.

Homewares retailer Dunelm (DNLM) was up 11.1% to 582p after revenue for its third quarter to March rose 5.1% year-on-year to £268.2m.

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