Rolls-Royce reports ‘satisfactory growth’ over 2021

By Julian Buckley24 February 2022

Andreas Schell, Rolls-Royce Power Systems Andreas Schell, Rolls-Royce Power Systems Photo: Rolls-Royce Power Systems

Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems has ended 2021 with what is described as ‘satisfactory growth’, despite the effects of the COVID pandemic.

According to the company, profits of £242 million (€282 million) were similar to those achieved in pre-pandemic 2019. At the same time, Power Systems says that it has become a provider of sustainable, climate-friendly and integrated solutions for propulsion and energy needs. The company reports it plans to invest a triple-digit million euro sum in sustainable technologies.

“The financial year 2021 showed we are on the right track. With strategic and proactive crisis management we protected our employees from infection in the best possible way, supplied our customers reliably and continuously, and presciently managed challenges such as the disruption of global supply chains in the pandemic,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

He continued: “The positive underlying business performance provides both planning security and a sound financial foundation for our transformation into a provider of sustainable solutions. Our customers are demanding such solutions – and we are ensuring that the shift to new types of climate-friendly system solutions can be realized.”

Power Systems ended the 2021 financial year with an underlying operation profit of £242 million (€282 million; 2020: £188 million, €212 million). The underlying revenue increased by 3% to £2,749 billion (€3,199 billion; 2020: £2,735 billion, €3,077 billion).

The underlying operating margin increased to 8.8% (2020: 6.5%). With this, the Rolls-Royce division significantly increased its profit in the second year of the pandemic despite challenging conditions. Order intake of £3.3 billion increased by 24% compared to the previous year. The order backlog reached a record £2.8 billion (€3.4 billion) at the end of the year. “Current factory utilization is proof of returning confidence and intend to invest across all segments”, said Schell.

Power Systems reorganized into four business units as of April 2021. In addition to the existing Mobile Power Solutions and Stationary Power Solutions, there is the new Power Solutions for Greater China. Additionally, the new Sustainable Power Solutions unit will focus on developing sustainable and climate-friendly systemic solutions across all application areas.

In 2021, as part of Rolls-Royce’s Net Zero strategy, Power Systems published Net Zero at Power Systems, a roadmap to carbon neutrality. From 2030, newly-supplied products will reduce the product portfolio’s greenhouse gas emissions by 35% compared to 2019.

In Berlin and Friedrichshafen, Power Systems reports it is developing new hydrogen solutions. “We see ourselves not only as manufacturer of products that run on hydrogen, but consider the entire hydrogen ecosystem in our development, in line with the concept of integrated end-to-end solutions,” explained Schell.

The mtu fuel cell element for climate-neutral energy supply had its world premiere at the UN Climate Conference COP 26 in Glasgow at the end of 2021. A fuel cell demonstrator is in ongoing operation in Friedrichshafen. From 2025, the company plans to have series-manufactured fuel cell systems in the megawatt range.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems fuel cell Rolls-Royce Power Systems fuel cell at COP 26 in 2021 Photo: Rolls-Royce Power Systems

Power Systems is providing the first hydrogen-powered mtu energy supply system as part of a reconstruction project at the port of Duisburg, Europe’s largest inland port. Three mtu fuel cell systems and two hydrogen-fuelled mtu thermal power stations will supply the new container terminals with CO2-free energy from 2023.

Rolls-Royce is prioritizing investment in sustainable solutions with a €400 million investment in the Sustainable Power Solutions business unit. This investment will expand development capacities for new technologies and solutions, as well as support further partnerships and potential acquisitions.

Power Systems made investments of around €120 million in its 20 top projects in 2021. This includes a new engine test stand in China. Together with investment company SDCL, Rolls-Royce will offer all-in-one energy solutions to customers who neither own nor operate the plants themselves. In September 2021, Rolls-Royce Power Systems and yacht manufacturer Ferretti announced their deepened partnership for the development of sustainable solutions for modern yachts. NautiQ, a new bridge-to-propeller marine automation system, stems from the acquisition of the former Servowatch company.

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