(Adds company news items, futures)
March 24 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were flat ahead of the cash market open on Friday.
* SMITHS GROUP: British engineering firm Smiths Group stuck to its full-year outlook as growth in its detection unit, which makes security sensors, offset declines in other areas of its business and boosted first-half profit.
* LAMPRELL: Oil-rig builder Lamprell Plc said it cut about 20 percent of its administrative staff and expects 2017 to probably be the toughest year to date, despite early signs of recovery.
* RBS: State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said on Thursday it planned to close about 180 bank branches in Britain and Ireland and about 1,000 roles were at risk in the latest round of cuts and closures at the lender.
* EXPERIAN: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Thursday it fined Experian and its subsidiaries $3 million for falsely telling customers its credit scores were used by lenders in making decisions.
* BHP BILLITON: The strike at Chile’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, is ending after workers decided to invoke a rarely used legal provision that allows them to extend their old contract, the union said on Thursday.
* INTERMEDIATE CAPITAL: Fund manager Intermediate Capital Group’s chief executive and chief investment officer Christophe Evain is to retire in July 2017, the firm said in a statement on Thursday.
* OIL: Oil prices edged up on Friday, supported by a fall in Saudi exports to the United States, but overall markets remained under pressure on the back of a world market awash with fuel.
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.2 percent higher at 7,340.71 points on Thursday, after a two-day losing streak as markets turned more bullish and retail sales data indicated more robust consumption.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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