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LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Europe's main stock markets barely budged on Friday but results from companies including Sweden's Elekta, Switzerland's Sika, and France's Sopra Steria kept trading lively while investors waited with bated breath for news from crucial U.S.-China trade talks.
Shares in Sopra Steria SOPR.PA topped the STOXX 600 with a 17 percent gain after the French IT services and consulting firm reported full-year results. ASM International ASMI.AS jumped 6.3 percent after it said fourth-quarter order intake hit a record high of 301.6 million euros, well above its forecast. other strong results, Swiss construction chemicals maker Sika SIKA.S rose 4.6 percent after full-year profit beat expectations. Elekta EKTAb.ST brought up the rear with a 10.6 percent slide after the Swedish radiation therapy equipment maker reported third-quarter earnings well below market expectations, and cut its full-year margin forecast. food and beverage sector .SX3P was the worst-performing, down 0.6 percent, after U.S.-based Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ: KHC ) reported weak results, sending its shares down 20 percent in after-hours Wall Street trade. Inbev ABI.BR fell 2.3 percent, Nestle NESN.S lost 0.6 percent and Danone DANO.PA dipped 0.4 percent. Unilever ULVR.L also dropped 0.9 percent.
Saint Gobain SGOB.PA shares fell 3.1 percent after the company reported a slump in annual net profit, blaming asset impairments amid uncertainty over the economy. in car parts maker Valeo VLOF.PA see-sawed in early deals after its results, up just 0.7 percent by 0830 GMT. the UK, M&A livened up trading. Dairy Crest DCG.L shares surged 12.9 percent after Canada's Saputo bought Britain's largest dairy food company for about 975 million pounds ($1.3 billion).
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