StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks were flat in early trading on Tuesday amid the release of mixed corporate results, including a higher profit from plumbing group Ferguson but disappointing sales update from bakery chain Greggs.

At 0853, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 points at 7.408.31.

Greggs fell 5.2% to 1,981.76p despite posting around 12% growth in third-quarter sales, which rose 7.4% on a like-for-like basis.

Greggs also cut its new net store opening target for 2019 to 90, down from previous guidance of 100, and warned of higher input and labor costs.

Ferguson firmed 3.6% to 6,160p on announcing that it expected to continue to outperform in the US market in the second half of the year after efforts to boost margins lifted its annual profit.

Advertising company WPP rose 1.6% to 1,034p on news that it had poached John Rogers, the head of Sainsbury's recently-acquired Argos general merchandise business, to be its new chief financial officer. Sainsbury's rose 1.4% to 222.8p.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca fell 1.3% to 7,163.68p after the Food and Drug Administration rejected its application for a lung-disease treatment.

AstraZeneca also announced that it had agreed to sell commercial rights for its heartburn treatment to German'sCheplapharm Arzneimittel for up to $276m.

Sportswear retailer JD Sports fell 0.7% to 746.4p as the UK's competition regulator referred the company's bid for rival Footasylum to an in-depth investigation, amid concerns it could raise prices for consumers.

Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba branded bar owner Revolution Bars dropped 4.7% to 66.5p after it reported a deeper annual loss amid a fall in like-for-like sales.

Aviation services group John Menzies added 0.7% to 406.7p as it secured a number of contracts wins and renewals across is UK operations.

Digital communications group Next Fifteen Communications shed 5.8% to 471p after the company booked a 73% fall in first-half profit, owing to exceptional expenses including acquisition and restructuring costs.

Next Fifteen also announced that it had acquired Health Unlimited from Creston Overseas for a maximum sum of $45.0m.

Water and climate management solutions provider Polypipe gained 1.8% to 413p on announcing that it had acquired Alderburgh for £14m.

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