Rolls;Royce names Ian Davis as new chairman
ROLLS-ROYCE has appointed BP director Ian Davis as its new chairman as it steps up its response to bribery and corruption allegations.
Mr Davis – formerly chairman of management consultancy McKinsey and Co and whose position at BP saw him closely involved in the group's Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis – will take over on May 2 when Sir Simon Robertson steps down after eight years.
Derby-based Rolls said Mr Davis would bring a "terrific background and experience" to the group, which revealed in December it was being investigated over bribery allegations relating to its business dealings with overseas customers.
It confirmed that veteran lawyer Lord Gold had in the past two weeks begun reviewing the company's compliance procedures in the wake of the claims being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, but gave no update on the probe.
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In annual results, Rolls posted its tenth year in a row of rising underlying profits, up 24 per cent to £1.4 billion.
The aerospace group, which employs around 45,000 people worldwide, saw underlying revenues rise 8 per cent to £12.2 billion and said it expected "good growth" in profits over the year ahead.
Rolls chief executive John Rishton said Mr Davis had some ''challenging non-executive experience'' under his belt.
"He joined the board of BP a week before the problems in the Gulf of Mexico and has really proven himself since then," he added.
Rolls warned in December that there was potential for the prosecution of individuals and the company as it came under the scrutiny of the SFO over allegations of malpractice in Indonesia and China.
The group's results show that strong demand for its Trent aircraft engines helped its order book rise 4 per cent to £60.1 billion in 2012.
It added £16.1 billion-worth of new contracts, including £10.3 billion in its civil aerospace division, £1.6 billion in defence aerospace and £3.3 billion in marine.
Recent contract successes have included a record number of orders for Trent XWB engines that will help reduce jet emissions by 16 per cent.