StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks made modest gains in early trading on Tuesday as local companies, including heavyweight British American Tobacco, continued to upgrade earnings guidance as lockdowns ease.

At 0821, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 13.23 points, or 0.2%, at 7,090.45.

British American Tobacco rose 2.0% to £28.2914, having upgraded its revenue outlook on accelerating growth in non-combustible products, including vaping, and stronger cigarette sales volumes.

The tobacco giant said revenue in 2021 was now expected to grow above above 5% at constant currency, ahead of its previous 3-to-5% growth guidance.

Fund manger Intermediate Capital rallied 6.3% to £22.915 after it boosted its annual profit 10% and upgraded guidance for fund inflows.

Intermediate Capital also upped its dividend by 10%, to 56p per share.

Cocktail bar owner Nightcap jumped 18% to 27.19p on announcing that its bars had notched higher-than-expected sales since they reopened last month.

Nightcap's revenue for the three full weeks since the reopening of indoor hospitality, being 17 May to 6 June inclusive, grew 92% compared to the equivalent weeks in the 2019 calendar year.

Veterinary drugs company Dechra Pharmaceuticals added 2.3% to £42.50 on guiding for full-year revenue ahead of current market expectations.

Dechra cited a completion of a UK pre-Brexit inventory unwind and a further easing of lockdown restrictions for the upbeat forecast.

High-tech product supplier Oxford Instruments nudged up less than 0.1% to £21.453 after it posted a 35% rise in annual profit, as sales edged higher and cost cutting helped fatten margins.

Oxford Instruments declared a full-year dividend of 17p per share, compared to zero payment year-on-year, comprising final and interim payouts of 12.9p and 4.1p, respectively.

Wagamama owner Restaurant Group gained 2.3% to 132.8p following news that chairman Debbie Hewitt would stand down at the end of 2021 to become chairman of the English Football Association.

Restaurant Group said it had commenced a formal process to recruit a successor, led by senior director Graham Clemett.

Specialist lender Paragon Banking ascended 4.0% to 532.5p, having reported a 69% rise in first-half profit, buoyed by an improved interest margin and lower loan provision losses.

Paragon Banking declared an interim dividend of 7.2p per share, up from zero payout year-on-year. The interim dividend was 50% of 2020's final dividend, in line with company policy.

Property portal OnTheMarket rallied 7.6% to 112.95p as it swung to its first ever full-year profit after it boosted sales and trimmed costs.

OnTheMarket's pre-tax profit for the year through January amounted to £1.14 million, compared to year-on-year losses of £11.7 million. Revenue rose 22% to £23.0 million.

Payments group PCI-PAL climbed 6.2% to 94p as it upgraded is annual guidance, following a rise in revenue it said had eaten into expected losses.

Language services group RWS fell 6.2% to 604.5p, having posted a 7% fall in first-half profit, partly owing to acquisition costs, though its underlying performance improved and it hiked its dividend 14% to 2p per share.

Media technology provider Amino Technologies firmed 2.7% to 153p on guiding for first-half revenue 'significantly' ahead of the prior year. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com