(Adds futures, news items)
March 4 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 80 points lower at 6,595 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures .FFIc1 down 0.3% ahead of the cash market open.
* AVIVA: Insurer Aviva AV.L posted flat operating profit of 3.2 bln pounds for 2020 and sold its remaining businesses in Italy, it said. WILLIAM HILL: William Hill WMH.L which is being acquired by Caesars Entertainment Inc CZR.O , posted a steep fall in annual adjusted pre-tax profit. MEGGITT: Meggitt MGGT.L said profit halved during 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. ADMIRAL: Admiral Group ADML.L posted higher full-year earnings, as it paid out fewer claims relating to car repairs and accidents, with repeated coronavirus lockdowns in the UK keeping people away from roads. ENTAIN: Gambling firm Entain ENT.L posted an 11% rise in 2020 core earnings as it Ladbrokes (LON: LCL ) and bwin businesses benefited from a rise in online betting during lockdowns. NEXTENERGY: NextEnergy Renewables said it was to delay its planned stock market listing in London because "a number of institutional investors require more time to complete due diligence. VISTRY: Vistry Group VTYV.L forecast a surge in 2021 profit as the housing sector stands to benefit from an extension in property tax breaks and other incentives announced in the UK budget. MELROSE: Melrose Industries MRON.L said it has begun a sale process for its Nortek air-conditioning division as the engineering business owner posted a steep fall in its annual profit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MHRA: Britain's medicines regulator said modified versions of authorised COVID-19 vaccines for variants of the coronavirus would be fast-tracked for approvals. CAR SALES: British new car registrations fell by roughly 36% year-on-year in February, according to preliminary data from an industry body. ASTRAZENECA: The Czech Republic has declined an offer to buy AstraZeneca's AZN.L coronavirus vaccines from an intermediary in the United Arab Emirates, Czech officials said on Wednesday. BT: BT BT.L said the "super deduction" tax break for investment announced by the government on Wednesday would significantly cut its tax bill for several years. RIO: A U.S. judge on Wednesday quashed a bid to widen the scope of a civil lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that accused miner Rio Tinto (LON: RIO ) RIO.AX of fraud at its Mozambican coal business, a court filing showed. SAINSBURY'S: British supermarket group Sainsbury 's SBRY.L plans to cut an additional 500 jobs and reduce its office space as it simplifies administrative functions for the post-pandemic era, it said on Wednesday. OIL: Oil prices rose for a second straight session on Thursday, as the possibility that OPEC+ producers might decide against increasing output at a key meeting later in the day lent support. British shares rose on Wednesday, buoyed by gains in financial, leisure and homebuilding stocks as investors cheered finance minister Rishi Sunak's budget plan. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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