The UK share of the £671m fine, at £497m, even if the fine will be paid over five years, is the largest ever imposed on a company for criminal behavior. This will be the first headline loss since 2008, when the company reported pre-tax deficit came to £1.9bn. The loss is not expected to affect Rolls-Royce’s ability to pay dividends. Warren East, who became chief executive in July 2015, sought last month to soften the blow over the scale of the regulatory settlement by offering news that profit and cash flow had finished 2016 better than expected. He also has plan to simplify the group, improve its reporting and management structures but this will take some years. Rolls-Royce is also facing a significant challenge when new accounting rules come into force in 2018.