Rolls-Royce faces further delays in solving engine problems

British engineering giant Rolls-Royce is facing further delays in solving problems with its Trent 1000 engines which led to aircraft groundings.

Shares in the FTSE 100 firm slumped in early trading after the company warned that a reduction in the number of grounded aircraft to single digits would be set back until the second quarter of 2020.

The company said it accelerated the replacement of immediate pressure turbine blades for some engines, which led to additional engine removals and delayed the firm’s progress.

The news is a fresh setback for the Derby-based company which has been dogged by problems with the Trent 1000 engines which first led to the grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes in 2018.

Issues with the engines helped to drag the company to a loss last year and soured relationships with a number of major airline customers.

The company’s chief executive said earlier this year that the number of aircraft affected by the engine problems had declined to between 30 and 40 in the first quarter of 2019.

It was expected that the company would reduce the number of grounded aircraft to single digits by the end of 2019.

Last month, the company said it faced an additional £100 million charge over the next three years to tackle the issues, on top of £1.5 billion of previously earmarked costs.

Rolls-Royce added that its guidance for the cash costs of the in-service issues in 2019 and 2020 is unchanged from what was announced by the firm in April.

Shares in the company were 3.1% down at 785p after early trading on Friday.

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