Trucking group Eddie Stobart on road to profitable year

Warrington-based transport firm Eddie Stobart Logistics posted better interim revenues and profits today, with the promise of improved fortunes heading into the traditionally stronger second half.

The AIM-listed business reported a 25.3% increase in turnover of £359.3m in the six months to May 31, while last year’s £7.583m pre-tax loss was turned into a £2.862m pre-tax profit this time around.

Eddie Stobart Logistics was formed when its Cumbrian-based parent sold it as a separate concern in March 2014. Stobart Group retains a 49% stake in Eddie Stobart.

Eddie Stobart Logistics chief executive Alex Laffey said: “We are pleased to have delivered a strong first-half performance as we continue to implement our strategy of becoming a leading provider of end-to-end supply chain solutions.

“This has been demonstrated year to date, as we have won new contracts with blue chip customers adding an annualised £158m of new business.

“The recent acquisition of The Pallet Network further adds to the range of services we provide to our customers across the supply chain.”

He added: “As previously indicated in our January trading update, our performance, as in previous years, will be weighted towards the second half of the year with the first half absorbing the costs of implementing new contract wins and the second half experiencing the benefits of these new contracts.”

And he said: “The second half period has started well and the board remains confident of delivering full-year results in line with market expectations.”

The business announced it had renewed contracts with a number of existing customers with an annualised value of £113m.

It also moved to allay any fears of the UK’s impending Brexit deal, or no deal.

It said: “There clearly remains lot of uncertainty around the consequences of Brexit.

“In Eddie Stobart, most of our operations are in either the UK or continental Europe, with less than 2% of our revenue generated through crossing the English Channel.

“Whilst we await clarification, in terms of the negotiations, we feel that given the flexible nature of our operating model, we are well placed to respond in the appropriate manner.”

An interim dividend of 1.54p per share represents a 10% increase on the 2017 payout.