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Rolls-Royce expects to double losses, and lay off thousands in the 2020 pandemic

LONDON (Reuters) – British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce said today that its net losses more than doubled last year to 3.2 billion pounds due to the coronavirus pandemic that forced thousands of companies to lay off.

The company said the loss after tax was compared to a loss of 1.3 billion pounds in 2019.

Revenue was down nearly 29% to around £ 11.8 billion, with civil aviation being the hardest hit by the coronavirus.

In a statement of results, Rolls-Royce said the deadly Covid-19 pandemic had a “serious impact” on the group’s performance for 2020 and its near-term outlook.

The aviation sector came under fire in the past year as the infection halted planes around the world and sparked an air transport crisis.

The company saved more than £ 1bn in costs last year, including the loss of 7,000 jobs in a restructuring drive that seeks to drop “at least 9,000” jobs by the end of 2022.

Rolls, which operates in the aerospace, defense and energy sectors, is cutting jobs and costs as it seeks to weather the damaging fallout from the health emergency.

“2020 was an unprecedented year,” said CEO Warren East.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the group has been most acute through our civil aviation work.

“In response, we have taken immediate action to address our cost base, launch the largest restructuring process in our recent history, strengthen our global manufacturing footprint and introduce significant cost-cutting measures.”

East added that the group has also taken “decisive measures” to boost its finances and improve operational efficiency.

He noted that this had led to “an unfortunate, but unfortunately very necessary, reduction in the size of our workforce.”

Meanwhile, the group secured additional liquidity through rights, bonds and other credit issuances last year, while it embarked on divestments of major assets.

“We are off to a good start with our disposal program and will continue to do so in 2021,” East said.

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