Passenger growth at Southend airport helps Stobart Group make ‘considerable progress’
Stobart Group has said it is trading in line with expectations and has made ‘considerable progress’ during the first half of the year.
The aviation, energy and civil engineering group suffered a bruising boardroom battle last year, resulting in the ousting of former boss Andrew Tinkler.
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Stobart made “strong commercial progress” in its aviation and energy divisions during the first half, the group said in a trading update issued this morning ahead of the publication of its interim results for the six months to 31 August on 14 November.
Passenger numbers at London Southend Airport, which the group owns, increased by 42 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The group said this growth was driven by Ryanair starting flights from the airport in April, and Loganair flights in May. The successful growth of Easyjet flights and the introduction of early and late rail services between Liverpool Street station and the airport.
Wizzair will begin flying from London Southend to three new destinations from October, which Stobart said would help keep passenger numbers increasing in line with its target.
Stobart said it is taking a cautious approach to passenger forecasts “given the ongoing uncertainty in the sector, in part caused by Brexit”.
In the group’s energy division, the volume of waste managed – which is primarily processed into waste wood fuel – increased by 148,000 tonnes to 806,000 tones. The equivalent run rate of 1.7m tonnes per year represents a 22 per cent increase, Stobart said.
“Stobart Group has made considerable progress in the period,” said chief executive Warwick Brady.
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“I am particularly encouraged by the quality of airline partners that we are now working with and the opportunity that brings to deliver future sustainable operating profits,” he added.
Haulage firm Eddie Stobart, which was previously part of Stobart Group, confirmed last week it has received takeover interest from Tinkler.