Profits at Stobart Group have fallen after a tough six months for its transport division.

While turnover in the six months to 31 August grew 15% to £281m, pre-tax profits dipped 4.5% to £14.7m. The company’s share price fell more than 5% to a two-year low as Stobart posted its results.

Chief executive Andrew Tinkler said the weak economy had held back profits growth in its transport and distribution sector, which accounts for 90% of Stobart’s sales. Its biomass, estates and air divisions performed more strongly.

“We have delivered a robust performance across the group despite a tough market for transport,” said Tinkler.

“Our new strategy is being implemented and we are well positioned to deliver strong results in the medium term.

“The road transport operations were affected by fluctuating customer demand during the summer, but we have substantially improved our operational information systems, allowing us to manage this volatility much better and achieve cost savings.

“The division is back on track and profitability has broadly returned to previous expected levels.”

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