U.K. Stocks Rise as Sainsbury, BT Results Top Analyst Estimates

U.K. stocks rose, extending this week’s rally for the benchmark FTSE 100 Index, after earnings from J Sainsbury Plc and BT Group Plc beat analysts’ estimates.

Sainsbury advanced 3.2 percent after posting an 18 percent gain in pretax profit. BT, the U.K.’s largest phone company, gained 11 percent, the most since July, after operating profit climbed.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index advanced 50.28, or 0.9 percent, to 5,433.73, bringing this week’s increase to 6.1 percent. The FTSE All-Share Index rose 0.9 percent today and Ireland’s ISEQ Index lost 0.1 percent.

“Earnings momentum is strong,” said Max King, a London based investment strategist at Investec Asset Management, which oversees about $55 billion. “We are positive on our equities position and the imminent crisis in Europe has been postponed.”

The FTSE 100 remains 6.7 percent lower than this year’s peak on April 15 amid concern that Greece’s debt crisis will spread. The gauge surged 5.2 percent on May 10 after the European Union agreed to offer financial assistance worth as much as 750 billion euros ($948 billion) in a bid to stem the weakness in the region’s currency.

Sainsbury, the U.K.’s third-largest supermarket chain, climbed 3.2 percent to 338.5 pence. Full-year underlying pretax profit rose 18 percent to 610 million pounds ($907 million), more than the 598 million-pound median estimate of 20 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

BT Profit

BT jumped 11 percent to 133.6 pence. The company said fourth-quarter operating profit rose 16 percent to 1.53 billion pounds, helped by job cuts. Profit had been estimated at 1.44 billion pounds on revenue of 5.17 billion pounds, according to the average estimates of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

3i Group Plc, Europe’s largest publicly traded private-equity firm, gained 7.6 percent to 288.7 pence. Net asset value per share climbed to 321 pence at the end of March from 279 pence a year earlier.

DSG International Plc advanced 6 percent to 29.99 pence. The owner of U.K. store chains Currys and PC World said underlying group sales rose 8 percent in the second half and the company has a new revolving credit facility.

Premier Oil Plc, a U.K. explorer operating in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, jumped 4.8 percent to 1,236 pence after confirming forecasts for higher production.

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