Rolls-Royce on track for ‘good growth’

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Rolls-Royce has confirmed its full-year civil aerospace business unit forecast for "good growth in underlying revenue and strong growth in underlying profit".

At the half-year mark, unit revenue was up 17% at £3.03 billion ($4.82 billion) and underlying profit before financing up 24% at £310 million, roughly in line with full-year 2011 performance that saw revenue gain 13% to £5.57 billion and profit improve by 27% to £499 million.

That guidance, confirmed in an interim management statement, excludes the impact of R-R's sale of its 32.5% shareholding in the International Aero Engines IAE V2500 programme to Pratt & Whitney for $1.5 billion. That deal, closed in July 2012, originated from R-R's conclusion that it could not justify investment in an IAE offering to compete with the P&W's geared turbofan engines being developed for the Bombardier CSeries and Airbus A320neo.

However, back in October 2011 R-R and P&W agreed to form a joint venture to look beyond the lifespan of the V2500 programme to develop a powerplant to enter service in the middle of the next decade, based on P&W's GTF technology - possibly an open-rotor design - to power future mid-size aircraft in the 120-130-seat segment. IAE partners MTU and Japanese Aero Engines are joining that venture.

Separately, R-R chief operating officer Mike Terrett has decided to retire at the end of the year. Terrett, an engineer, has worked for the company for 34 years, starting with the company as a graduate apprentice in Derby in 1978. During his career he has been chief engineer on the Trent 800 programme, chief executive of International Aero Engines and president of civil aerospace at R-R.