17 January 2013
Stobart Group Limited
("Stobart" or "the Group")
Interim Management Statement
Stobart Group, the leading provider of UK support services, including multi-modal logistics, property, civil engineering, air and biomass, makes its interim management statement covering the period from 1 September 2012 to date.
Transport and Distribution continues to perform in an uncertain economic environment. Within the division, the Chilled operation has remained very challenging and, following a restructure review, the management has decided to discontinue this business as a standalone unit. This change will not affect Stobart's national network solution for customers.
The Eddie Stobart brand and service experience continues to add value and stability to the Transport and Distribution division. December trading was comparable to last year within similar economic circumstances. In the traditionally quieter months of January and February the division will be focussed on cost control to reduce risk to the final quarter's trading.
Civil Engineering and Infrastructure Management is focused on delivering Group projects for Estates which will marginally impact external revenue performance.
The Air division has incurred extra cost in the initial start-up phase, where the Group invested heavily in training and service delivery to meet the faster than expected initial growth. This infrastructure and investment in the employees and their training is now in place to support future growth. Passenger movements were very strong at London Southend Airport with the numbers passing through our terminal in the period since launching in April exceeding 600,000, and ahead of our expectations. Work has commenced on the terminal expansion due to our increased confidence in future passenger numbers. Our growth will be supported by a fourth airport based easyJet aircraft from June 2013 and continuing discussions with other European airlines.
The Biomass division, whilst having its growth delayed by the timing of UK Government legislation, has performed well against the realigned market and management expectations. This has resulted in a good performance in the second half.
Stobart Estates continues to work on developing its sites and profitable disposals. As reported in the last trading update, progress has been slower than anticipated due to current market conditions. Negotiations are continuing on the disposal of several properties within the portfolio.
Overall, the Board expects the Group's operating performance for the year to be slightly below current market expectations. The outturn for Estates will depend on the timing of disposals and valuations.
The board continues to focus on realising value from all investments in the short and medium term, whilst managing the business in the delivery of trading results in the current uncertain economic environment.
Stobart Group +44 1925 605 400
Andrew Tinkler, Chief Executive Officer
Avril Palmer-Baunack, Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Ben Whawell, Chief Financial Officer
i-nfluence +44 207 287 9610
Stuart Dyble/James Andrew
Square1 Consulting +44 207 929 5599
David Bick/Mark Longson