New chairman for profitable Rolls

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Engines manufacturer Rolls Royce unveiled a new chairman this morning as it announced that profits grew by 24 per cent last year.

The industrial giant said former McKinsey & Company chairman and worldwide managing director Ian Davis will succeed Sir Simon Robertson in the chair at the group’s annual meeting in May.

It comes as the firm reported underlying pre-tax profits of £1.4 billion for 2012, on revenues of £12.2bn, up from £11.1bn the year before.

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

“In the full year, underlying profits increased for the tenth consecutive year. We have established this record of consistent delivery while continuing to invest in people, technology and facilities.

“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 2013, we expect modest growth in underlying revenue and good growth in underlying profit with cash flow around break even as we continue to invest for the future.”

He added: “Sir Simon Robertson today announced his intention to retire as Chairman of Rolls-Royce at this year’s annual general meeting. Simon has made an exceptional contribution over the past eight years. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of the company and his energy and enthusiasm have been an example to us all. I am delighted to welcome Ian Davis as our new Chairman and look forward to working closely with him.”