Key earnings were one of the main drivers for markets on Thursday. One of the big market movers was Vestas Wind, which shot to the top of the STOXX 600 after its second-quarter earnings beat market expectations and the renewable energy firm upgraded its 2016 guidance. Vestas Wind shares hit an eight-year high during trade, closing up 9.87 percent up.
Another strong performer was travel group Thomas Cook, which jumped 7.5 percent after it signed a supply deal with Webjet.
Back to earnings, Swiss food giant Nestle said first-half organic sales grew 3.5 percent, missing analyst expectations amid continued challenges in China. Shares closed 1.5 percent up.
Meanwhile Raiffeisen Bank International sank 2.1 percent after it said its second-quarter net profit came in at 96 million euros ($108.6 million), missing market expectations. Banks in general showed signs of weakness, with BMPS and Banco Popular finishing near the bottom of Europe's benchmarks.
Shares of William Hill sank after 888 Holdings and the Rank Group announced prior to the close that they were withdrawing their proposal of a possible combination of the three companies. The U.K. bookmaker pared some losses, closing 1.5 percent down.