* FTSE 100 up 0.2 pct
* Results boost ITV, Compass Group
* Sage drops after update, downgrade (Adds closing prices)
LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - Strong updates from ITV and Compass Group helped Britain's top share index inch up on Wednesday, underpinned also by gains among defensive stocks.
Britain's blue chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.24 percent at 7,452.32 points, but ended off highs hit as sterling dropped. The currency slipped following data showing that UK economic growth edged higher in the second quarter.
Company earnings were front and center of the market action as shares in ITV jumped 2.4 percent after the broadcaster reported first half earnings, adding it expected advertising pressure to ease in the third quarter.
ITV's shares have been hit this year on concerns around a slowdown in advertising revenues, with the stock down around 10.6 percent so far in 2017.
"The broadcaster revenues were also lower but the results were in line with forecasts and the guidance for the year remains unchanged," Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.
"The 5 percent increase in the interim dividend demonstrated the board's confidence in the underlying strength of the business."
Results also buoyed shares in catering firm Compass Group , which rose 1.8 percent after reporting a 3.9 percent rise in quarterly revenue thanks to strength in its U.S. market.
Consumer stocks were among the top risers, with British American Tobacco, AB Foods and Diageo all helping underpin gains.
"Consumer goods and consumer services are sectors that have gained the most on the FTSE 100, as traders have confidence British consumers are willing to go out and spend money," David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said in a note.
A disappointing update and downgrade to "neutral" from "outperform" from Credit Suisse weighed on Sage Group's shares, which fell 1.2 percent.
Updates were also in focus among mid caps which advanced 0.6 percent. Metro Bank shares were boosted 4.1 percent after its second quarter figures, while Tullow Oil rallied 7.9 percent following its results. (Reporting by Kit Rees and Danilo Masoni; Editing by Mark Potter and Hugh Lawson)