Rolls-Royce posts $5.6 bln loss, says worst over

Jet engine-maker Rolls-Royce plunged to a $5.6 billion loss in 2020.

That was worse than analysts expected.

The slump comes with thousands of planes stuck on the ground.

Since Rolls-Royce charges airlines for the number of hours its engines fly, that spelled trouble for earnings.

The company says the worst is behind it though.

Rolls-Royce expects to burn through less cash this year, predicting a travel upturn in the second half.

Hitting its targets will require airlines to fly 55% of their 2019 capacity this year.

But the UK company says it has plenty of liquidity, and could survive even a severe downside scenario.

The firm plans to strengthen its balance sheet with asset sales totalling around 2.8 billion dollars.

Most of that will come from the sale of Spanish unit ITP Aero, which Rolls says is on track.

Investors appeared to welcome Thursday's news.

Rolls-Royce shares were up 2.7% by midmorning.

One analyst told Reuters the firm still had 'much to do', but called its plans feasible.