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Rolls-Royce targets disposals to boost pandemic-hit finances

Credit: REUTERS/BENOIT TESSIER

Britain's Rolls-Royce said it aimed to sell its Spanish unit ITP Aero and other assets to raise at least 2 billion pounds to boost its balance sheet, which has been shattered by the travel slump brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Britain's Rolls-Royce RR.L said it aimed to sell its Spanish unit ITP Aero and other assets to raise at least 2 billion pounds to boost its balance sheet, which has been shattered by the travel slump brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rolls-Royce also said on Thursday its CFO Stephen Daintith had resigned to move to retail technology firm Ocado OCDO.L, but that he would remain in his role to support an orderly transition as he helps oversee 1 billion pounds of cost cuts this year.

Planes stopped flying for months earlier this year and travel still remains at a much lower level than previously, hitting Rolls-Royce's revenues as airlines pay it on the basis of how many hours engines fly.

Rolls-Royce sunk to an underlying loss before tax of 3.2 billion pounds ($4.2 billion) in the first six months of the year, and said it was continuing to look at additional options to strengthen its balance sheet.

It said it proposed to raise funds by selling its wholly-owned subsidiary ITP Aero, which is based in Spain and makes turbine blades for jet engines, as well as other assets, alongside consolidating its manufacturing facilities into six locations from 11.

Rolls-Royce warned in May that it would need to cut 9,000 jobs and said on Thursday that 4,000 employees had already left the business from its civil aerospace unit.

($1 = 0.7573 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle)

((sarah.young@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 1109; Reuters Messaging: sarah.young.thomsonreuters@reuters.net))

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