UK Markets closed

UPDATE 1-Rolls-Royce sees good profit growth after 2012 jump

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain's Rolls-Royce reported a 24 percent rise in full-year profit, led by strong growth at its civil aerospace unit and a strong performance at Tognum (Xetra: A0N4P4 - news) , its marine and industrial engine joint venture with Daimler (Xetra: 710000 - news) .

The British aerospace and defence group on Thursday posted an underlying 2012 pretax profit of 1.4 billion pounds ($2.18 billion) on revenues 8 percent higher at 12.2 billion pounds.

It had been expected to post an average 2012 pretax profit of 1.37 billion pounds, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 14 analysts.

"For the full year 2013, we expect the group to see modest growth in underlying revenue and good growth in underlying profit, with cash flow around breakeven as we continue to invest for future growth," Chief Executive John Rishton said.

The company, a major British exporter, said its order book rose 4 percent to 60.1 billion pounds and that its prospects were good.

Revenues at its key civil aerospace business rose 16 percent, helped by soaring demand for more fuel-efficient engines for planes made by Europe's Airbus (Paris: NL0000235190 - news) and U.S. rival Boeing (NYSE: BA - news) .

The company, whose website says a Rolls-Royce powered aircraft takes off or lands every 2.5 seconds, increased the interim dividend by 11 percent to 19.5 pence per share.

Rolls, the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind U.S. group General Electric (Other OTC: GEAPP - news) , also said Chairman Simon Robertson would retire and be replaced by BP executive Ian Davis after the company's annual general meeting in May.

Late last year Rolls said it could face prosecution after Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) ordered it to conduct an internal inquiry into possible bribery and corruption by intermediaries in China, Indonesia and other overseas markets.

The group said on Thursday it had passed information to the SFO and said it had significantly strengthened its compliance procedures in recent years. "As a further measure, we have appointed Lord Gold to lead a review of current procedures and report to the Ethics Committee of the Board," it said.

Shares in Rolls-Royce, which have risen 12 percent this year, closed at 984.5 pence on Wednesday, valuing the group at around 18.2 billion pounds.