News Column

Stobart Confident In Growth, Shareholder Return In Coming Years

June 26, 2014

Hana Stewart-Smith

LONDON (Alliance News) - Stobart Group Ltd Thursday said it remains confident in delivering growth and good shareholder returns over the coming years, as it continues its strategy of investment, optimisation and realisation.

In a statement ahead of its annual general meeting, the company said it had seen a busy start to the year following the sale of a majority stake in its iconic transport and distribution business to an investment fund in April.

It has used some of the proceeds to fully repay a GBP100 million loan with M&G Investment Management, and has also returned GBP31.1 million to shareholders via share purchases.

Stobart still has a 49% stake in the transport and distribution business.

As a result of good cash realisations from its property portfolio, the company has also repaid GBP68.1 million of its GBP74.9 million GE property loan.

Stobart has now switched to operating an infrastructure and support services business through five divisions: infrastructure, energy, aviation, rail and investments. It has reorganised its management to lead the divisions, particularly focusing on driving growth and profitability in the energy and aviation business.

Biomass tonnages and passenger numbers are so far ahead of last year in the energy and aviation units, it said.

In its Infrastructure division it has realised proceeds of GBP4.4 million from the sale of two commercial properties. It expects to continue selling properties, but noted that the timing of sales might lead to lumpy profits and cash flows.

Stobart will announce its results for the half year to end-August on October 23.

Shares in Stobart were trading down 0.5% at 128.05 pence Thursday afternoon.

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Source: Alliance News

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