- Rolls-Royce said on Thursday it had withdrawn from the engine competition to power Boeing's new mid-size airplane because it was not confident it could commit to the timetable as it reported full-year underlying operating profit of £616m. This was up from £306m in 2017.

It also posted an 8% increase in underlying Group revenue for 2018 to £15.067bn amid continued confidence in its 2019 outlook.

For 2019, the company expected to achieve a Group underlying operating profit of £700m (+/-£100m), with higher margins for its Power Systems and Defence business units.

However, the company recognised a significant exceptional charge (increased to £790m from £554) within its 2018 financial figures as a result of the abnormal cost of its contribution to dealing with customer disruption related to Trent 1000 engine.

"Despite the challenges we faced on Trent 1000 in-service issues, solid progress has been made realising our ambition to make 2018 a breakthrough year, both strategically and financially. Underlying financial results are ahead of expectations, with good growth in profit and cash flow. Following the restructuring we announced in June last year we are starting to see the crucial behavioural changes needed to sustain our momentum," said Warren East, Chief Executive.

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