Rolls reports jump in profits

Rolls-Royce reported a 24 per cent rise in full-year profit, led by strong growth at its civil aerospace unit and a strong performance at Tognum, its marine and industrial engine joint venture with Daimler.

The aerospace and defence group posted an underlying 2012 pre-tax profit of £1.4bn on revenues eight per cent higher at £12.2bn.

It had been expected to post an average 2012 pretax profit of £1.37bn.

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“For the full year 2013, we expect the group to see modest growth in underlying revenue and good growth in underlying profit, with cash flow around break even as we continue to invest for future growth,” chief executive John Rishton said.

The company, a major British exporter, said its order book rose four per cent to £60.1bn and that its prospects were good.

Revenues at its key civil aerospace business rose 16 per cent, helped by soaring demand for more fuel-efficient engines for planes made by Europe’s Airbus and US rival Boeing.

The company, which says a Rolls-Royce powered aircraft takes off or lands every 2.5 seconds, increased the interim dividend by 11 per cent to 19.5 pence per share.

Rolls, the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind U.S. group General Electric, also said chairman Simon Robertson would retire and be replaced by BP executive Ian Davis after the company’s annual general meeting in May.