Scotland business

Stobart Group reports profits fall

Eddie Stobart lorry
Image caption Eddie Stobart is part of the Stobart Group, which operates around the UK

Logistics specialist Stobart Group has reported a fall in overall profit, after taking a financial hit from its loss-making chilled pallet network.

In the year to the end of February, the company saw underlying operating profits from continuing operations climb by about 10% to £44.9m.

But the figure excluded a £13.4m loss from its chilled pallet network, which was shut down during the year.

The hit dragged overall profit down from £27.5m to £17.5m.

Describing the last financial year as "pivotal", Stobart said it was on track with a four-year strategy, launched in 2011, to create shareholder value.

Group revenue from continuing operations rose last year by more than 16% to reach £572.4m.

The company achieved a 26% return on investment in its estates division, while new long-term supply contracts for its biomass operations got under way, with future revenue of more than £140m.

'Turbulent year'

Chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: "Despite a turbulent year and a tough economic environment, our continuing operating businesses have produced a profit from continuing operations 10% up on last year and have again given us a good return on investment.

"We are now at a pivotal point in our four-year plan and, with our investment programme nearly complete, we are moving into our value optimisation phase."

He added: "Through our property assets we will be looking to return cash into the business, while our Air and Biomass businesses are poised to deliver further value enhancement."

The Carlisle-based group runs about 2,200 Eddie Stobart trucks on the road throughout the UK.

Last year it established a new distribution facility at Eurocentral business park in Lanarkshire.

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