- UK stocks opened higher on Tuesday after pleasing earnings updates from Imperial Brands, Micro Focus, Cranswick and Britvic helped offset a disappointing annual report from Vodafone.

At 0826, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 54.91 points, or 0.8%, at 7,087.76.

Telecom giant Vodafone slumped 6.2% to 132.92p, having reported a fall in annual underlying earnings after weaker roaming demand due to travel restrictions weighed on sales.

Vodafone's adjusted earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortisation fell 1.2% to €14.39 billion as revenue slipped 2.6% to €43.81 billion. The company held its dividend steady at 9c per share.

Looking forward, Vodafone forecast improved underlying EBTIDA for the current financial year of between €15.0 billion and €15.4 billion.

Tobacco titan Imperial Brands rose 2.7% to £16.3235 on reporting a jump in first-half profit thanks to strong tobacco pricing and reduced losses from next-generation products including e-cigarettes.

Imperial Brands declared an interim dividend of 42.12p per share, up 1% year-on-year.

Insurance company Phoenix added 0.6% to 733.8p after it said it was in advanced discussions about a possible sale of its European businesses, confirming media speculation of a deal.

Enterprise software group Micro Focus rallied 9.9% to 517.84p as it notched better-than-expected sales and margins in the first half, citing a strong licence revenue performance and cost cutting.

Micro Focus's revenue for the six months through April was now expected to fall by just 5%, with an adjusted operating margin of about 36%.

Meat producer Cranswick fattened 5.1% to £39.04 after it hiked its annual dividend by 16% to 70p per share, on the back of a 10% rise in annual profit boosted by a new poultry production facility.

Cranswick also announced that executive chairman Martin Davey would retire on 26 July.

Gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica was also buoying sentiment, jumping 6.6% to £10.68 as it upgraded its annual earnings guidance after AstraZeneca increased the size of an order for Covid-19 vaccines.

Oxford Biomedica was now expecting 'significant growth' in annual operating earnings, with cumulative revenues from AstraZeneca now anticipated at more than £100 million.

Soft drinks maker Britvic rallied 5.6% to 970.18p, having reinstated its dividend, at 6.5p per share, even after its first-half profit fell.

Britvic said it had experienced encouraging trading in the second half as lockdowns ease.

Promotional products marketing company 4imprint climbed 4.1% to £23.95 on reporting an 'encouraging performance,' with order intake in April rising above 80% of 2019 levels.

Footwear retailer Shoe Zone sank 12% to 65p as it posted a first-half loss after revenue was hurt by pandemic-related store closures.

Engineering services group Renew added 1.9% to 651.84p, having reinstated its interim dividend, at, 4.83p per share, after it booked a 19% rise in profit. Story provided by