Record orders help Rolls profits soar

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RECESSION-defiant Rolls-Royce, which is Hucknall’s biggest employer, has announced pre-tax profits of £595 million.

The world-renowned firm, which boasts almost 800 workers at its base off Watnall Road, attributed the boost to strong growth in its aero-engine division.

Record-breaking orders worth a total of £8.7 billion have also been secured in the first half of the year (January to June).

The operation at Hucknall was formerly involved in the testing of engines but is now the company’s main centre for the manufacture of engine parts.

The company’s order book now stands at £61.4 billion. Underlying pre-tax profit was given a 28% boost from £465 million in the comparable 2010 period, while underlying revenues were up four per cent to £5.46 billion over the six-month period.

John Rishton, chief executive of the firm, said: “Since taking over from Sir John Rose in April, I have had the chance to travel extensively, meeting customers and seeing a broad range of Rolls-Royce’s capabilities.

“It has confirmed my view that this is an outstanding company with a proven strategy and many choices about how and where it can grow in the future.

“Performance in the first half of the year was strong with our order book and underlying profit showing solid growth, enabling an increased payment to shareholders. This demonstrates the resilience of our strategy that is based on a diverse portfolio and access to global markets.

THE CONTINUED success of Rolls has been demonstrated by the rubberstamping of a deal with Singapore Airlines worth more than £600 million.

The contract is for Trent 700 engines, which would have originally been put through their development paces at Hucknall.

They will power 15 Airbus A330 aircraft and will be subject to a Rolls TotalCare maintenance agreement.

Singapore Airlines already operates 19 Trent 700-powered A330s, the first of which was delivered in 2009.

Nick Devall, chief commercial officer for Rolls, said: “The Trent 700 has proven itself to be the most efficient engine for the Airbus A330. Singapore Airlines has been a great partner.”