Rolls-Royce says net profits surge in 2012

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Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce said today that net profits surged last year, boosted by strong revenues and the sale of its stake in US-based International Aero Engines, and appointed its new chairman.

Earnings after taxation soared to BP 2.281 billion in 2012, compared with BP 850 million in 2011, the firm announced in a results statement.

Rolls-Royce, which also makes power systems for use on land and at sea, added that underlying revenues advanced eight percent to BP 12.2 billion and its order book swelled four percent to BP 60.146 billion.

"In the second half of the year, revenue growth increased as we delivered 23 percent more engines than in the first half. Margins improved, reflecting volume, mix, cost control and the IAE transaction," said chief executive John Rishton.

He added: "The strength of our order book demonstrates the confidence our customers have in our products and services.

"Our priorities remain: delivering on the promises we have made; deciding where to grow and where not to; and improving financial performance."

In the first half, Rolls completed the sale of its 32.5-percent holding in US-based joint venture International Aero Engines AG (IAE) to Pratt & Whitney -- a division of United Technologies Corp. -- for BP 1.5 billion.

IAE makes V2500 engines which power the Airbus A320 family of aircraft and the Boeing MD-90.

The group added today it has appointed Ian Davis as chairman to succeed Sir Simon Robertson. Davis, who was formerly chairman at McKinsey & Company consultants, will start at the job in May.

Looking ahead, Rolls-Royce forecast "modest" growth in underlying revenue and "good" growth in underlying profit for 2013.

Last year, Rolls has warned that it may be prosecuted over alleged "malpractice" in Indonesia and China after passing on information related to bribery concerns to Britain's Serious Fraud Office. It is fully cooperating with the SFO.

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