Business

Rolls-Royce reports record profits and sales

A Rolls-Royce engine
Image caption Rolls-Royce profits were largely driven by orders for its civil aircraft engines

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce has reported annual orders, sales and profits at record levels thanks to expansion in the airline industry.

Overall profits rose 21% to £1.16bn ($1.84bn), while orders reached £62bn after rising 5%.

Rolls said its defence aerospace business had also done well despite the pressure on military spending in Europe and the US.

Its marine and energy-related businesses performed less well.

However, both divisions secured large orders, with Rolls gaining its first order for its Enviroship vessel, which is powered solely by liquid natural gas, and its energy division taking its biggest ever order from Brazilian oil company Petrobras for 32 gas turbine power generators.

Rolls' chief executive John Rishton said 2011 had been a good year for the business.

"We continue to benefit from a broad portfolio, a large and growing customer base and access to markets where demand remains strong for our products and services," he said.

Profits in 2010 were hit by the mid-air failure of one of Rolls' Trent 900 engines on a Qantas superjumbo, which cost the firm it £56m.

Rolls' civil aerospace division saw profits increase by 27% last year to £499m and the business has orders for more than 5,000 engines.

Rolls completed one of the biggest deals in its history last year when it joined up with Mercedes-Benz's owner Daimler to buy the German engine maker Tognum for about £3bn.

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