UK Stocks Factors to watch on Feb 23

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) is seen opening higher on Wednesday, with futures up 0.09%.

* BARCLAYS: Barclays (BARC.L) reported its annual profit nearly trebled and returned 2.5 billion pounds to shareholders in 2021 via dividends and buybacks, as bad loan charges plunged and its investment bank continued its strong recent performance. read more

* METRO BANK: Metro Bank (MTRO.L) reported a smaller loss and higher margins for 2021, as the British high-street lender's turnaround actions bear fruit and the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic's impact. read more

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* ASTON MARTIN: Aston Martin (AML.L) posted a smaller loss for 2021 as its sales surged and the company said it expected further improvements this year despite ongoing global supply chain disruptions that have accompanied the coronavirus pandemic. read more

* RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) reported its best ever annual profit and a record full-year dividend of $16.8 billion, boosted by higher iron ore prices and strong demand from top consumer China. read more

* HOCHSCHILD MINING: Precious metals miner Hochschild Mining Plc (HOCM.L) posted a 41% jump in full-year core earnings on Wednesday, boosted by a rise in average silver prices and rebound in production after the operational stoppages in 2020 due to the pandemic.

* HEATHROW: London's Heathrow said passenger numbers fell to 19.4 million last year, the lowest since 1972, as it was hit by COVID-19 travel restrictions. read more

* TED BAKER: Upmarket fashion retailer Ted Baker (TED.L) reported higher fourth-quarter sales as demand for office and party wear remained strong even in the face of Britain's pandemic-related curbs during the reporting period. read more

* PHOENIX GROUP: British insurer Phoenix Group (PHNX.L) appointed senior independent director Alastair Barbour as interim chairman to replace current Chairman Nicholas Lyons, who will go on a sabbatical. read more

* ASTRAZENECA: A large study into rare blood clots linked with AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine found between just one and three cases per million, and only after the first dose, shedding fresh light on the side-effects from the shot. read more

* London's FTSE 100 stock index closed higher on Tuesday, recouping earlier losses as strong results from medical products maker Smith+Nephew and gains in industrial stocks countered concerns relating to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. read more

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines

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Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru

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