Stobart focuses on expanding Southend Airport
Balance sheet derisked through disposal of airline and aircraft leasing units
Freight reportedly signed with Amazon
What Stobart does
Within the aviation arm, the company owns London’s Southend Airport.
Stobart has been ramping up investment at the airport after selling its regional airline and aircraft leasing businesses to Connect Airways – the joint venture it set up with Virgin Atlantic and Cyrus Capital.
The company sold the businesses in exchange for becoming a 30% shareholder in the venture.
Cyrus is the lead partner in the venture with a 40% stake while Virgin owns a 30% interest.
Stobart’s energy services division delivers waste wood and other waste-derived fuels to biomass plants in the UK.
The rail and civils unit provides specialist rail, civil and infrastructure engineering and management services to customers such as Network Rail.
How it's doing
Passenger numbers at Southend Airport increased by 42% year-on-year in the six months to August.
The growth was driven by the start of Ryanair flights in April, Loganair flights in May and the continued successful growth of easyJet.
From October 2019, WizzAir will start flying from Southend to three new destinations.
In October, Stobart also announced it will convert part of London Southend Airport to accommodate a new freight customer that local newspapers speculated is online retail giant Amazon.
The aviation group has signed an initial two-year freight agreement with a “global logistics customer” at Southend Airport.
During the March-August period, the volume of waste managed, which is predominantly processed into waste wood fuel, increased by 148,000 tonnes to 806,000 tonnes.
This is equivalent to a run rate of 1.7mln tonnes a year, which represents a 22% increase on the same period last year.
What the CEO says: Warwick Brady
"Stobart Group has made considerable progress in the period, particularly in terms of the number of passengers that we have welcomed at London Southend Airport and the volume of waste fuel that we have been in a position to supply under contract,”
- Stobart is expanding its Southend Airport to accommodate more than 10mln passengers with the aim to reach 5mln passengers by 2023
- The firm has spent more than £150mln to date developing the airport, attracting tier one airlines and building a new terminal, control tower, jet centre, hotel, car parks and train station. Last year it also spent £10mln on a runway improvement programme.
- The company is also investing in growing the energy business to deliver 2mln tonnes per year of biomass fuel.