Eddie Stobart drives back to profitability
The owner of transport company Eddie Stobart Logistics has motored back to the black.
Revenues in six months to 31 May were down marginally, off 1.1% at £416.5m, at holding company GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions, but underlying earnings before interest and tax jumped to £10.6m, compared to a loss of £11.6m a year earlier.
The improved numbers were attributed to an ongoing turnaround plan, which saw Eddie Stobart Logistics exit loss-making contracts, and in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, which boosted demand for logistic and transport services.
Eddie Stobart Logistics, which has refocused on the grocery and fast moving consumer goods sectors, won new business contracts during the period with Wm Morrison and McBride in the UK, and Nike and Amazon on mainland Europe.
William Stobart, executive chairman of GWSA Group, said: "These results show we have put past challenges firmly behind us.
"The past six months have shown the strength of our differentiated business model, which has allowed us to grow existing customer relationships, win new business, return the GWSA Group to profitability and overcome challenges presented by Covid-19."
Looking ahead, the company said it expected full-year underlying earnings before interest, tax, deductibles and amortisation to be "in excess" of £33m pre-IFRS 16. It expects to continue reducing net debt.
As at 1230 BST, shares in Eddie Stobart Logistics were ahead 40% at 9.30p.
Aim-listed Eddie Stobart Logistics - which also controls iForce, The Pallet Network and Logistics People as well as the Eddie Stobart brand - was rocked by an accounting scandal last year. But in December a £55m rescue deal saw former owner and shareholder Douglas Bay Capital take at 51% stake. Isle of Man-based DBay also installed William Stobart - son of founder Eddie - to oversee the turnaround.