Rolls-Royce roars past profit expectations

STORY: Rolls-Royce stock soared around a fifth on Thursday (February 23).

That after the engineering giant beat profit expectations for last year.

The British firm posted a profit of about $786 million - way above analyst projections of around $576 million.

Rolls-Royce was helped by a better performance in its key civil aerospace division.

Improvement there came as travel recovered from the health crisis.

It was a nice welcome for the company's new chief executive, Tufan Erginbilgic.

But he still said the company was still capable of 'much more'.

He has previously said the firm needs major improvements to secure its future.

But Erginbilgic also said his transformation program was already underway and moving at pace.

Rolls-Royce predicted the outcome of a strategic review would come in the second half of the year.

It forecast an underlying profit of up to $1.2 billion for this year.

Shares in the firm were up more than 15% this year, before Thursday's announcement.

Investors have grown more confident as China's reopening helped boost air travel.

That gives Rolls-Royce a direct lift as many airlines pay by the hour for the use of its engines.