Rolls-Royce shrugs off turbulence as profits jump 4%

ROLLS-ROYCE'S profits have risen 4 per cent, despite economic turbulence and delays in a number of major aircraft programmes.

The civil aerospace and defence firm yesterday said success in winning new customers and orders, as well as its ongoing focus on costs, meant annual underlying profits improved to 915 million in 2009. Revenues increased 14 per cent to 10.4 billion, while the final dividend was increased by 5 per cent to 9p per share. .

It expects 2010 trading conditions to remain challenging, but stressed it was confident of matching last year's revenues and profits. Chief executive Sir John Rose said: "Rolls-Royce has delivered solid results, despite difficult trading conditions. This demonstrates the resilience of our business."

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The company's order book stood at 58.3bn at the end of the year after new business intake of 13.4bn during 2009. This included growth in the civil aerospace division's order book to 47bn after new orders totalling 9.4bn in the year.

However, volatile trading conditions and the continuing effects of major programme delays hit profits, which fell to 493m from 566m a year earlier.

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