What Stobart does
The London-listed group, which is planning to change its name to avoid confusion with the highly visible Eddie Stobart lorry firm, has been ramping up investment at the airport in recent years.
After selling its regional airline and aircraft leasing businesses as part of as the formation of Connect Airways with Virgin Atlantic, Stobart bought them back from the administrators in April after the collapse of the Flybe arm.
How it's doing
In June 2020, the group unveiled a pivot to focus on aviation, aided by a £100mln fundraising.
The refined strategy recognised the changes in the economic and social environment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the company said, with plans to realise value from its energy services division and exit the rail and civils unit.
At London Southend Airport, the group will design and implement an improved passenger experience for post-COVID 19 travel, making use of significant unused space and technology to enhance passenger confidence, while providing a cost-efficient base of operation to airlines.
For the past financial year ending February 29, passenger numbers at Southend Airport increased by 43.1% to 2.1mln.
The growth was driven by the start of Ryanair and Loganair flights last April and May and the continued successful growth of easyJet, with WizzAir joining in October.
Also part of Southend Airport was converted to accommodate a new “global logistics customer” that local newspapers speculated is online retail giant Amazon.
What the CEO says: Warwick Brady
“We have a cost-efficient proposition for airlines and will further develop our passenger-focused airport experience that seeks to maintain passenger flow and provide enhanced customer confidence.
“Therefore, we will focus our investment and our business in this asset by seeking to dispose of our non-core businesses and, in due course, monetise Stobart Energy.
“The launch of the capital raise that we have announced today will provide the Group with the financial resilience necessary in the current environment and ultimately to position the business for success in the post COVID environment.”
- Watch out for developments in the pivot to aviation
- Exit from rail and civils in 2021
- A sale of the energy business in the next 18 to 24 months