Rolls Royce optimistic despite losses

16 February 2017

British engineering company Rolls-Royce on 14 February released its 2016 financial results. Showing a loss of £4.6bn ($5.7bn), although revenue in the group's nuclear business rose 11% year on year to £777m. Chief Financial Officer David Smith said this was led by submarine programmes, including refuelling projects and decommissioning activities, while civil instrumentation and control programmes in France and Finland were also strong. These included the first phase of upgrade work at the Loviisa NPP in Finland and maintenance programmes across the French nuclear power fleet. Lower gross margin in its nuclear business reflected the dominance of government-led submarine programmes, Smith said, which was offset by additional costs including R&D to support the initial design phase for small modular reactors (SMRs). Underlying profits for the nuclear business were £37m before financing.

Rolls-Royce in 2016 outlined plans, as part of a consortium, to develop a fleet of 7GWe SMRs in response the UK government's competition to identify the best value SMR design for the UK. Other 2016 deelopments included the government's final approval of the Hinkley Point C NPP, for which it was awarded preferred bidder status for waste treatment system, heat exchanger and diesel generator contracts. It has also announced closer strategic collaboration with China National Nuclear Corporation, including engineering and training services.  Rolls Royce said the long-term outlook for its nuclear business remains positive.

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