Profits more than double at Rolls-Royce in 2023

Rolls-Royce saw its profits more than double in 2023, reaching £1.59bn from £652m year-on-year.

Revenue at the engineering firm also increased from £12.7bn to £15.4bn in the same period, while also generating a record free cash flow of £1.3bn.

The results surpassed previous guidance set out by Rolls-Royce in July last year, which expected profits for 2023 to reach £1.4bn, with free cash flow of around £1bn. Net debt at the firm dropped from £3.3bn at the end of 2022 to £2bn in 2023.

Following these results, shares in Rolls-Royce, which produces engines for large civil aircraft, as well as submarines and military jets, jumped by 9%, according to the FT.

Chief executive officer at Rolls-Royce, Tufan Erginbilgic, said: "Our transformation has delivered a record performance in 2023, driven by commercial optimisation, cost efficiencies and progress on our strategic initiatives. This step-change has been achieved across all our divisions, despite a volatile environment with geopolitical uncertainty, supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures.

"We are managing the business differently and our significant performance improvement in the year reflects the hard work and focused actions of all our teams. We are also continuing to invest to drive future sustainable growth. Our strong delivery in 2023 gives us confidence in our 2024 guidance and is a significant step towards our mid-term targets. We are unlocking our full potential as a high-performing, competitive, resilient, and growing Rolls-Royce."

For 2024, the engineering firm said it expects to continue its progress, with underlying profits between £1.7bn-2bn and free cash flow between £1.7bn-1.9bn.

Equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, Aarin Chiekrie, added: "Rolls Royce’s full-year results capped off a stellar year for the FTSE 100’s top performer of 2023. Underlying operating profit and free cash flow came in well ahead of prior guidance, helping to fuel positive sentiment around this engine-maker.

"Heading into the new year, the group continues to benefit from sector-wide tailwinds like a huge backlog of plane orders and pent-up consumer demand for travel, meaning there’s set to be more of the group’s market-leading engines on wings.

"Given that a large chunk of its revenue comes from servicing those engines, with business based on how long those engines spend in the air, investors should be pleased to see so-called engine flying hours (EFH) rise to 88% of 2019 levels last year. That figure’s set to soar to new heights this year, with the group expecting EFH to hit 100-110% of 2019 levels."

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