In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Libya crisis keeps Rolls-Royce busy

Posted by seumasach on July 29, 2011

Of course, it’s not all spin- there is also spin off. Who could have thought there could be a growth area in Britain’s economy?- never write off the war sector.

This is Exeter

29th july, 2011

THE crisis in Libya has given a major boost to Rolls-Royce’s operation in Bristol over the last six months.

The company employs 3,500 staff at its factory in Patchway. And much of the work carried out there involves maintenance and service work on the military jets used by the RAF.

The ongoing air operations in Libya have meant a big increase in the amount of work for Rolls-Royce.

Yesterday the firm released its financial figures for the first half of the year. The company has seen a 28 per cent increase in profits to just under £600 million.

The majority of the increase is a result of airlines placing big orders for new aircraft since the turn of the year.

Rolls-Royce said its order book increased six per cent to an all-time high after it clocked up nearly £9 billion worth of new business.

Rolls had a total of £61.4 billion worth of orders at the end of June thanks to orders from Singapore Airlines, Norwegian Airlines and Emirates Airlines.

The defence and marine business – which is based in Bristol – also saw a marked increase in work. Last autumn the Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced big cuts in defence spending and Rolls lost several major contracts.

But the blow has been softened by compensation payments and the increase in servicing work.

Rolls has also launched a new Trent XWB engine, which it has agreed to supply on an exclusive basis to Airbus for its new A350-1000 aircraft – which is being designed in Bristol.

Looking ahead, Rolls said it expects profit growth due to a strong civil aerospace performance and further compensation settlements with the MoD. Dan Korte, the man in charge of the Bristol operation, said: “Once again the defence business has demonstrated its resilience in a tough economic climate and made an excellent contribution to the group’s interim results. In addition to the delivery of new engines for programmes such as the Typhoon, our performance in the first half of the year has once again illustrated the importance of our services business.”

Speaking about the operations in Libya he said: “We’ve a huge responsibility to support our customers in their operations around the world and our activities are mission critical. In particular I’d like to thank the Bristol team for its tremendous efforts in support of the UK’s recent commitments as part of Operation Ellamy. Looking forward, while our traditional markets remain challenging, we can see growth in emerging export markets such as India and the Middle East.”

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