Sales at the Stobart Group topped £500 million for the first time last year, though operating profit remained broadly unchanged.
Highlighting the tough trading conditions, chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: “These results are largely due to the ongoing strength of our transport and distribution business, significant new business wins and tight cost control.”
The group, which has just announced a £90m biomass supply and logistics agreement with Iggesund, reported underlying EBITDA for the year to 28th February £57.2m against £57.4m the year before.
Revenue from continuing operations was up from £447.7m to £500.4m. Net debt increased to £156.1m from £96.8m on last year, but it was down from £162.0m at the interim position at 31 August 2009.
Under the deal with Iggesund, Stobart Biomass will source supply and transport residue and recycled wood for use as fuel at a new £100m power station at Iggesund’s paper mill at Workington in Cumbria.
Work on the contract commences in the first quarter of 2013, replacing gas-power with biomass fuel at the Iggesund low-carbon power station.
Tinkler, said: “The supply and distribution nature of the agreement delivers further commercial and efficiency benefits in the group’s transport and logistics division, as biomass delivery is added to the distribution contract, facilitating greater fleet utilisation.
“Cumbria is the home of Stobart Group and to play a part in the development of Britain’s new energy coast is important to the company. We are proud to contribute green solutions for energy generation in an area traditionally synonymous with nuclear power.”
Stobart Group has appointed three new non-executive directors: David Beever, Alan Kelsey and Paul Orchard-Lisle. Alan Kelsey is also appointed as Senior Independent Director.
“We are entering an exciting phase of Stobart’s development. We have spent the last three years building a strong and diversified business,” said Tinkler. “With the additional £115m of funding we now look forward to delivering the inherent value in our business.”