Automotive division sale boosts profits at Eddie Stobart

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Stobart Group said its first half share of Eddie Stobart’s post-tax profits was £6.1m compared to £3m the year before.

In its results for the half year to 31st August, the group which has a 49 per cent stake in the Eddie Stobart business, said: “The results for Eddie Stobart (logistics) in the period include the profit on disposal of the UK automotive business, which was sold in August 2015, plus other one-off costs. The net benefit of these items totalled £3.2m. The proceeds on disposal contributed to the repayment of borrowings by Eddie Stobart of £21.1m in the period,” it said.

In August, Eddie Stobart Logistics has sold its UK Automotive Logistics business, which operates 450 vehicle transporters, to BCA Marketplace plc, the company chaired by Avril Palmer-Baunack.

The Stobart Group has seen steady gowth in its energy business. Sales in the division which specialises is supplying biomass to energy plants rose from £32.7m in the first half of 2014 to £35.6m this year. EBITDA was up from £2.8m to £4.1m.

But sales in the Aviation and Rail divisions were slightly down, meaning that overall group sales were flat at £57.6m for the year. Underlying EBITDA was £9m against £8.7m last year.

Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: “We have continued to focus primarily on delivering value in our two high growth divisions of Energy and Aviation, and we are progressing well with building the infrastructure and relationships to successfully develop these businesses.

“Our other divisions are performing well with a strong order pipeline in the Rail division, growing profitability in Investments and realising cash from property sales.

“In line with our commitment of driving shareholder value, we returned £13.1m to shareholders in dividends in the period, and we have the foundations in place to deliver on our strategic goals.”

* Greenwhitestar UK plc, the parent company of Eddie Stobart Logistics made an operating profit of £16.2m for the year to 30th November 2014, on revenue of £394.3m. Pre-tax profit was £6.1m.

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