STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-UK small caps stay weak early afternoon

The FTSE Small Caps index is down 0.3 percent around midday, just outperforming slightly bigger declines by the blue chips and the mid caps , both 0.4 percent lower.

Avanti Communications Group drops 16 percent after the satellite operator reports increased full-year losses, with revenues of 12.5 million pounds falling short of estimates of 17.2 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Management attributes this to more conservative accounting treatment although underlying growth run-rate for recurring revenues is also below our forecasts," Jefferies & Co analysts say in a note to clients.

The analysts now expect consensus revenue forecasts to be reduced for 2013 and 2014.

Thorntons gains 3.3 percent as the chocolate group says trading is in line with management expectations, with first-quarter total sales falling 1 percent to 46.0 million pounds primarily due to planned store closures, although it is cautious on the outlook for its upcoming Christmas peak trading season.

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