Stobart Group boosted by aviation businesses

Shares of aviation, energy and rail firm Stobart Group rose about 3% after it said in a trading statement it enjoyed a 25% increase in passengers at its London Southend Airport, a 10% increase in passenger numbers at Stobart Air — and said its Carlisle Lake District Airport will open for passengers for the first time in the summer of 2018.

Stobart said London Southend Airport had more than one million passengers in calendar year 2017, with passenger numbers expected to grow further with a recent agreement for Air Malta to launch three new routes from May to Malta, Sardinia and Sicily.

In January 2018 we launched a new executive jet fixed based operation (FBO) at London Southend Airport, expected to cater for 5,000 flights per year by 2022,” said Stobart.

The group intends to invest up to £40m over FY18 to FY21 in awareness, route development, branding, marketing and airline incentive deals at London Southend Airport, of which we have invested around £10m in FY18 …

“Stobart Air continued to make good progress, operating flights on behalf of its partners, Aer Lingus and FlyBe, carrying 1.7 million passengers …

“Stobart Aviation Services provided check in services for 0.6 million passengers at London Southend Airport and ground handling services to 11,949 aeroplane movements.

“It also secured a contract to provide aviation services to easyJet at London Stansted which began on 1 March 2018, worth circa £4m per annum.”

In energy, Stobart said it has successfully deployed its logistics experience to put in place a renewable energy fuel supply chain to supply two million tonnes of renewable energy fuel to power stations across the UK.

Stobart Group CEO Warwick Brady said: “Stobart Group has made good progress during the last year.

“We continue to see growth in our aviation division, with a 25% increase in passengers at London Southend Airport, 10% increase in passenger numbers flying via Stobart Air, and we are excited to be welcoming passengers at Carlisle Lake District Airport from Summer of this year.

“Stobart Energy has proven its model and is on track to deliver at a run rate of 2m tonnes of renewable energy fuel per year by the end of 2018 and Stobart Rail continues to add value across the group.

“We continue to realise value from our infrastructure and investment divisions and these disposals are expected to support the dividend up until 2022, when we expect our operating divisions to meet their targets for EBITDA contribution.”