Sometimes news is not a surprise but can still shock and the huge losses chalked up by aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce fall into that category.
“It was inevitable that the increasingly existential threat to the aviation sector would leave some scars, but the scale of the wounds inflicted on Rolls will take a long time to heal,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“Chief executive Warren East was already well into a turnaround of the group when Covid-19 hit after Rolls hit a sticky patch in the early 2010s marred by profit warnings and a cash crunch.
“Whether he will feel able to lead another fix-it job at Rolls-Royce has to be open to question after the coronavirus crisis effectively brought the business back to a worse position than when he started.
“For all the massive losses, the key takeaway from the latest annual results is the reiterated guidance for cash flow to turn positive at some point in the second half of this year and to generate positive free cash flow in 2022.