Rolls-Royce year profit rises 24 pct

LONDON Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:09am EST

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LONDON Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain's Rolls-Royce reported a 24 percent rise in full-year profit, led by strong growth at its civil aerospace unit.

The British aerospace and defence group on Thursday posted an underlying 2012 pretax profit of 1.4 billion pounds ($2.18 billion) on revenues 8 percent higher at 12.2 billion pounds.

Rolls-Royce was expected to post an average 2012 pretax profit of 1.37 billion pounds, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 14 analysts.

Rolls, the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind U.S. group General Electric, also said chairman Simon Robertson would retire and be replaced by BP executive Ian Davis after the company's annual general meeting in May.

Shares in Rolls-Royce, which have risen 12 percent this year, closed at 984.5 pence on Wednesday, valuing the group at around 18.2 billion pounds.

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