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Coronavirus

Rolls-Royce says China lockdowns weighing on jet-engine recovery

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Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc said renewed coronavirus restrictions in China are holding back crucial service revenue from its jetliner engines even as markets begin to recover elsewhere.

Over the first four months, flying hours, which determine revenue-generating maintenance visits, were 42 percent higher than in the same period of 2019, London-based Rolls-Royce said in a statement Thursday.

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“Passenger demand is recovering on routes where travel restrictions have been lifted, such as in Europe and the Americas, but additional COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in fewer flights in China where the situation is still evolving,” the company said.

Shop visits, together with deliveries of installed and spare engines, will accelerate during the course of the year, Rolls-Royce said ahead of its annual shareholder meeting later Thursday.

Rolls saw revenues plunge during the two years over which the pandemic roiled global travel. Demand for the wide-body engines in which it specializes has been hardest hit, with long-haul flights returning more slowly than regional and domestic trips.

The company, which posted a profit for 2021, spurred by cost cuts and the travel restart, reiterated previous guidance for a broadly unchanged operating profit margin this year combined with revenue growth of less than 10 percent.

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