The Eddie Stobart Group, in which Eddie Stobart Logistics has a 49% stake, has benefited from its traditional strong exposure to fast-moving consumer and grocery goods
() is looking forward to life as an investment company focused on the logistics sector after a very difficult 2019.
Adrian Collins, who took over as the chairman of the company in April, admitted the results for 2019 made for “difficult reading” but stressed that “much of the report deals with the past”.
Revenue rose to £857.5mln in 2019 from £781.5mln in 2018, thanks largely to the acquisition of TPN in 2019. Like-for-like revenues were more or less unchanged, reflecting the exit from two underperforming contracts.
The underlying loss before interest and tax was £9.9mln compared to positive underlying earnings of £9.0mln the previous year.
Underlying earnings (EBITDA) were flat in 2019, down from £16.8mln in 2018, while the company posted an adjusted loss before tax of £19.4mln, versus a profit in the previous year of £2.9mln. The reported loss before tax, which includes what the company regards as exceptional items, was £238.9mln, versus a 2018 loss of £22.3mln.
Net debt at the end of 2019 stood at £214.5mln, compared to net debt of £159.6mln the year before.
The cash shell holds a 49% equity interest in the trading entities of the Eddie Stobart Group and has been notified by the group of a trading update for the period since November 2019.
The update revealed the management team led by executive chairman William Stobart has implemented measures to reorganise and streamline the operations that are expected to have a positive impact on the full-year results to November 2020.
“The team continues to closely monitor the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on trading. While there have been some volume reductions in parts of the business, the Eddie Stobart Group has benefited from its traditional strong exposure to fast-moving consumer and grocery goods, as well as its e-commerce related activities and volumes in these areas remain strong,” the statement said.
“Following the injection of funding by DBAY in December 2019, the Eddie Stobart Group management team believes the group continues to be well funded in this period of uncertainty,” it added.
Collins chipped in with his two penn’orth on the current economic environment, saying that the pandemic may give rise to changes in how businesses structure their supply chains and may well lead to adjustments to the “just in time” delivery mindset.
“This may have a positive impact upon the Eddie Stobart business and parts of the wider logistics sector,” the Eddie Stobart Logistics chairman said.