Business Week – Roaring through downturn.

Rolls-Royce, the jet engine manufacturer, is expected to show that it is powering ahead when its interim results are published today. The company, which has been separate from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since 1971, provides power systems for the aerospace (civil and defence), energy and marine market sectors, and is hoping to remain unaffected by economic downturn.

A company spokesman said Rolls-Royce was not feeling the impact of a depressed UK economy. ‘About 80% of our sales are exports. Because we operate in four sectors, we haven’t seen anything of a slowdown.’

He explained that demand varied between regions and sectors. In the aircraft sector, falling demand for smaller engines is compensated by greater demand for larger engines.

He added the company was taking a new approach of ‘total care’ to customers, helping them plan their programmes and extending their services.

Chairman Sir Ralph Robins was upbeat about Rolls-Royce’s future, telling shareholders in May how the company was strengthening its market position and increasing productivity, building on its progress in 2000.

‘We achieved a record order-book of more than #13bn. I am pleased to say that it has continued to grow since the year-end and today stands at a record #15bn, reflecting significant growth in the civil aerospace and marine market shares.’

Sir Ralph said that, since Rolls-Royce acquired marine power company Vickers in 1999, it had become the world leader in this market sector.

‘The marine activity is where we see tremendous potential,’ he said.

The chairman also told shareholders Rolls-Royce was participating in many or the world’s key defence aerospace programmes. ‘We are increasing our share of growing markets as we introduce competitive products and exploit the after-market from our successful, established range of products.’

The company’s website can be found at

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