Rolls-Royce overcomes marine arm setback

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Rolls-Royce expects to deliver good growth in full-year profit, despite lowering revenue guidance for its marine division, which has been hit by changes to the timing of some deliveries.

Rolls, the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind US group General Electric, yesterday said trading since July had been robust and that it continued “to expect good growth in underlying (annual) revenue and profit, with cash flow around breakeven”.

Rolls is investing £80m in a futuristic factory in Rotherham to manufacture high-technology turbine blades for jet engines. The group is planning another, larger, factory for the site.

The firm is expected to post an average 2012 pre-tax profit of £1.38bn, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. The predictions underscore soaring demand for narrowbody or single-aisle jets. Analysts forecast that 20,000 narrowbody planes will be produced in the next 20 years.

Europe’s Airbus and US rival Boeing are ramping up output and are targeting more than 1,100 deliveries this year. Rolls said guidance for all of its business segments remains unchanged, except for its marine unit where it expects full-year sales to be broadly flat due to “the phasing of deliveries”.