Losses narrow at Rolls-Royce after strong second half

Manufacturing giant Rolls-Royce has narrowed its losses according to its 2019 full-year results.

Overcoming a challenging first half, the company ended the year on a high thanks in large part to its civil aerospace and defence divisions, the latter having enjoyed a record order intake of £5.3 billion.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the firm said it lost £852m last year, down from £1.16bn in 2018 as its Trent 1000 engine problems persisted.

Chief executive Warren East said: “After a challenging first half, we had a good end to 2019, delivering 25 per cent growth in full year underlying operating profit and an encouraging level of free cash flow. Our restructuring efforts gained momentum, with run-rate cost savings of £269 million. Civil Aerospace improved its underlying profit significantly, with record engine deliveries, good aftermarket performance and improved OE unit losses. We made further progress on the Trent 1000; cash costs are in line with guidance. We remain on target to reduce aircraft on ground to single digits by the end of Q2 2020.

“We continued to invest significantly in R&D and took important steps towards becoming a leader in low carbon technologies. We grew our electrical capabilities with the acquisitions of Siemens’ eAircraft business and a majority stake in Qinous, as well as developing new in-house hybrid-electric solutions.”