March 5, 2019 / 9:05 AM / a year ago

Vodafone, exporters lead FTSE 100 higher; profit-taking hurts Intertek

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* FTSE 100 up 0.4 pct

* FTSE 250 about flat

* Vodafone boosts main index after bond issuance plans

* Intertek, Ashtead limit blue-chip gains

* Debenhams skids after pulling FY forecast


March 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 edged higher on Tuesday as Vodafone gained on plans of a bond issuance and exporter stocks benefited from a strong dollar, while Intertek slipped as investors booked in profits after in-line results.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent outperforming its euro-zone peers and the FTSE 250 was roughly flat by 0904 GMT.

Vodafone was the biggest boost to the main bourse as it added 2.2 percent after saying it intends to raise about four billion euros by issuing mandatory convertible bonds.

Dollar earners such as Unilever, AstraZeneca and Diageo also supported the FTSE 100.

Capping gains was industrial firm Intertek, which slipped 3.2 percent. A trader cited the fall to profit-taking after the company posted annual results.

Equipment rental firm Ashtead gave up 2.8 percent after its third-quarter report.

Ladbrokes owner GVC fell 1.5 percent after posting full-year results and laying out plans to relocate servers hosting online gambling platforms to Ireland as part of its contingency plans for Brexit.

Phoenix Group, Europe’s largest owner of life assurance funds closed to new customers, gained 2.5 percent on the mid-cap index after it reported higher full-year profit.

Struggling department store group Debenhams tanked as much as 12 percent after it withdrew its full-year outlook and said talks with stakeholders to restructure its balance sheet would likely be disruptive. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Josephine Mason)

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