Rolls-Royce powers up its profit numbers

British engineering company unveils a 57 per cent increase in underlying profits

Rolls-Royce reveals strong recovery in underlying profits for 2022. Reuters
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UK engineering company Rolls-Royce has brought in a forecast-beating 57 per cent increase in underlying profits for 2022 at £652 million ($787 million), helped by better performances in civil aerospace and power systems.

The company's cash flow was much strengthened by a recovery in engine flying hours, and Roll-Royce was also able to reduce its net debt to £3.3 billion, down from £5.2 billion at the end of 2021.

There is more profit growth to come, according to Rolls-Royce's new chief executive, Tufan Erginbilgic, who said the engineering company was capable of much more as his transformation plan starts to take shape.

Mr Erginbilgic, who is just two months into the top job at one of Britain's most famous industrial names, said major improvements are needed to secure the future of company that makes engines for Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 planes.

"Our transformation programme is already under way and is moving at pace," Mr Erginbilgic said.

"It will include a strategic review so that we can prioritise our investment towards the most profitable opportunities. We will report the findings together with our medium-term goals in the second half of this year."

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , NOV 15   – 2017 :- Trent XWB , the world’s most efficient large aero engine on display at the Rolls-Royce stand at the Dubai Airshow held in Dubai. (Pawan Singh / The National) Story by Sarah Townsend

'Burning platform'

Mr Erginbilgic, who spent two decades at the oil company BP, is making a determined effort to transform Rolls-Royce's operations.

In a recent address to staff, parts of which were leaked to the Financial Times, he referred to the company as a "burning platform", indicating that if nothing was done, it was heading for disaster.

He has already made changes to the civil aerospace unit, while also bringing in BP veteran Nicola Grady-Smith as his chief transformation officer.

Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce is forecasting an operating profit of between £800 million and £1 billion for 2023.

Updated: February 23, 2023, 9:29 AM