Stobart reports ‘solid results’

Stobart said revenue from continuing operations had increased by 11.8% to £500.4m for the 12 months ended 28 February 2011.

Within its preliminary results for the year, Stobart said revenue from group operations was £447.7m at the same period in 2010.

Underlying EBITDA was £57.2m, compared to £57.4m in 2010, and underlying profit before tax was £34.5m, compared to £36m last year.

Adjusted earnings a share were 9.7p, compared to 10.8p in 2010, and basic earnings a share 9p, 11.7p in 2010.

Net debt had increased to £156.1m from £96.8m at 28 February 2010 and decreased from £162m at the interim position at 31 August 2009.

Stobart said the results showed a solid performance for the group despite difficult economic conditions and bad weather conditions experienced in December.

At the start of May this year Stobart raised £115m in additional funding to invest in new divisions.

The group is being restructured into five divisions including transport and distribution, estates, airports, biomass, and infrastructure management.

In April, Stobart completed the acquisition of the remaining 50% share of Stobart Biomass Products from Allan Wilson Jenkinson for £20m in shares and loan notes.

The company announced on Monday morning it has signed a new £90m contract, covering 12 years, with Iggesund to supply biomass to its Lillyhall plant in Workington, Cumbria, from early 2013.

This follows new contract wins with Tesco, AG Barr and Britvic for its transport division, which represents 85% of company turnover.

Andrew Tinkler, chief executive officer, said: "We are pleased to deliver solid results this year in line with our expectations despite the economic challenges and tough operating environment. These results are largely due to the ongoing strength of our transport and distribution business, significant new business wins and tight cost control.

"We are entering an exciting phase of Stobart's development. We have spent the last three years building a strong and diversified business. With the additional £115m of funding we now look forward to delivering the inherent value in our business. We are pleased to be able to mark the start of this phase with a significant new 12 year contract for our Biomass division, worth in excess of £90m in revenue, which we have just signed with Iggesund."

Tinkler added that he expects the group's airport operations at London Southend Airport and Carlisle Lake District Airport to offer significant growth potential.

He said: "Our target is to achieve in excess of two million passengers annually at Southend and to develop our distribution and freight operations at Carlisle to enhance our customer proposition."

Stobart is awaiting a decision in the summer this year on a revised planning application for the development of Carlisle Airport.

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