Rolls-Royce sets out ambitious vision to future-proof its business

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By Gordon Smith

November 29, 2023, © Leeham News: Rolls-Royce’s (RR) capital markets day presented a business that has bookended 2023 with two very different narratives. The November 28 event heralded targets such as a quadrupling of operating profit within five years, delivered via a bullish new growth strategy and re-energized vision for the future. How different things felt just 11 months earlier. 

In January, new chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic adopted something of a shock-and awe approach, describing the company’s position in terms so blunt that it made even the most experienced market watchers blush.

Picking up the baton from Warren East – who had led the business for eight years – Erginbilgic’s comments went beyond the conventional candor of an incoming exec and spooked many. The new boss labeled the British firm a "burning platform" and described Rolls’ status quo as "unsustainable". 

Despite efficiency drives instigated by his predecessor, Erginbilgic’s message was clear; 2023 represented a "last chance" to change. Needless to say, there was a particularly high degree of expectation behind Rolls’ flagship investor event, his first as CEO.

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