Rolls-Royce profits to soar by 10%, but the downturn could bring it back down to earth

Rolls-Royce, the aerospace giant led by Sir John Rose, is expected to buck the credit crunch with bumper results on Thursday.

Charles Stanley, the stockbroking house, forecasts pre-tax profit to be £884m for 2008, up more than 10 per cent on the previous year. However, analysts have warned that it will be looking for guidance on prospects for 2009, which is expected to be difficult given the deteriorating economy.

“The commercial aerospace industry has been battling unprecedented economic conditions, resulting in fleets grounded, airlines collapsing and traffic slowing in even previously booming markets such as China and India,” said Charles Stanley analyst Tina Cook in a preview note. Theconsensus expectation for revenue is £8.6bn, down from more than £9.1bn in 2007.

Separately, drinks group Diageo is also expected to announce sound results this week. Pre-tax profit for the six months to 31 December should approach £1.5bn, up from £1.37bn on the same period in 2007.

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