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Motoring News

Rolls-Royce profits rise despite tough year

Rolls-Royce today said profits rose 4 per cent last year despite economic turbulence and continued delays in a number of major aircraft programmes.

The civil aerospace and defence firm said success in winning new customers and orders, as well as its ongoing focus on costs, meant underlying profits improved to £915 million in 2009. Revenues increased 14 per cent to £10.4 billion.

It expects trading conditions to remain challenging this year but said it was confident of matching last year's revenues and profits.

Chief executive Sir John Rose said: "Rolls-Royce has delivered a solid set of results despite difficult trading conditions. This demonstrates the resilience of our business."

The company's order book stood at £58.3 billion at the end of the year after new business intake of £13.4 billion during 2009.

This included growth in the civil aerospace division's order book to £47 billion after new orders totalling £9.4 billion in the year.

However, volatile trading conditions and the continuing effects of major programme delays impacted on profits, which fell to £493 million from £566 million a year earlier.

Huge oil price rises in 2008 have been blamed for the delayed take-up of Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 widebody programmes in the year.

Revenues generated from outside civil aerospace continued to grow strongly and comprised 56 per cent of revenues in 2009. This was driven by increases of 19 per cent and 17 per cent respectively in its defence and marine segments.