Stobart sees passenger numbers drop at Southend though freight holds up
Stobart Group Limited (LON:STOB) said freight operations at Southend Airport had helped offset some of the disruption caused by coronavirus during the six months to end September 2020.
Revenues for the interim period dropped by 29% to £53.2mln, with aviation seeing a 49% drop and Energy, Stobart’s other key division, down by 22.5%.
Stobart posted an underlying loss of £4.9mln against a profit of £2.5mln a year ago, though losses by businesses for sale and also a £55mln impairment charge for airlines Stobart Air and failed carrier Propius meant a pre-loss of £77.4mln.
“Whilst passenger travel has been severely disrupted by lockdowns and evolving quarantine arrangements, London Southend Airport has benefited from uninterrupted income from its global logistics operation,” said Warwick Brady, chief executive.
Aviation cut its underlying l£1.7mln a £0.9mln due to what it said were strong uninterrupted income through the global logistics operations and lower marketing support costs.
At Stobart Energy, Brady said the company had built up supplies of waste wood for the winter to guarantee certainty of supply.
At the end of the period, Stobart had cash facilities of £119mln and had reduced the cash burn for the two core businesses to £2mln per month.
Cash burn for Stobart Air and Propius was £3.6mln in August, Stobart added, and the group’s net debt £89.2mln.
Stobart said it is talking to airlines that use Southend about the summer schedules, which start in April, while gate fees at the energy arm had started to improve in September and October.
Talks are ongoing abut a sale of Stobart Air where trading has turned since CPVID-19 quarantine restrictions were imposed in Ireland.
The sale of Stobart Air is a priority said the statement