Rolls-Royce has reported a 24 per cent jump in full-year profits for 2012 as its chairman steps down.
The results were thanks to robust growth at its civil aerospace unit, where revenues grew by 16 per cent thanks to demand for more fuel-efficient engines, with underlying pre-tax profit reaching £1.4bn and revenues increasing 8 per cent to £12.2bn.
John Rishton, chief executive, 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."
But the firm also announced that Ian Davis will succeed Sir Simon Robertson who is stepping down as chairman after at the firms AGM on 2 May after eight years.
He said: “It has been a privilege and pleasure to lead Rolls-Royce through eight years of continuous growth. This is an exceptional company with exceptional prospects.
“I would like to welcome Ian onto the Board. I am pleased to know I shall be succeeded by a man of his stature and international experience. I would like to thank my fellow Board members, the management and the wider Rolls-Royce team for their commitment and support.”
Davis said: “I am looking forward greatly to joining Rolls-Royce. Sir Simon has led the Board with distinction during the past eight years. I am extremely excited by the prospect of building on the firm foundations that have been laid”.