P.M. Briefing : Rolls Profit Soars on Plane Engines

From Times wire services

Rolls-Royce said today that its pretax profits rose 8% to $289 million in 1988 as booming orders for its aircraft engines offset other drains on earnings.

The British aero-engine firm had pretax profits of $268 million in 1987. Last year’s figures were at the higher range of analysts’ expectations. Rolls-Royce’s earnings increased last year as orders for civil aircraft engines rose to $3.8 billion from $2.6 billion in 1987, it said.

The strong orders offset other problems such as a weak dollar, which pressured profit margins and took away some gains from greater efficiency and volume. Also, the company posted an “exceptional item” of $49 million due to severance payments after it cut 1,900 jobs.