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Southend airport passenger numbers boost Stobart Group

A huge rise in passenger numbers at London Southend Airport and the sale of its hotel are set to support profits at its owner Stobart Group.
The FTSE 250-listed company said passenger numbers rose by a quarter in 2017 to more than 1 million at Southend Airport and a recent deal with Air Malta for three new routes from May is expected to keep growth going this year.
Chief executive Warwick Brady said ?10m would be spent this year promoting the airport as part of a total ?40m package his company has pledged to spent between now and 2021.
Mr Brady said Southend would also establish a new executive jet business with the aim of catering for 5,000 flights a year by 2022.
Stobart Group said the sale of the airport’s hotel, alongside two other properties and its stake in the Port Talbot biomass plant in Wales would help support the company’s dividend, thanks to ?27m raised from the disposals.
Southend airport passenger numbers boost Stobart Group

The boss of haulage firm Eddie Stobart has said he could rebrand his 2,500-strong fleet if a compromise about the cost of using the name with the owner of the rights Stobart Group 

Credit:
Eddie Stobart/Press Association Images
The stake in Eddie Stobart Logistics, the well-known road haulage firm, had performed “satisfactorily” with a 12pc year-on-year rise in revenues, the company said.
Relations between Stobart Group, which listed in 2007, and the haulage firm, which itself floated in 2017, are strained at present. Stobart Group has reportedly offered the haulage firm ongoing rights to use the name for ?3m for one year, ?15m to be able to use it in Britain forever or ?50m to get exclusive use.
The boss of Eddie Stobart, Alex Laffey, has he could rebrand his 2,500-strong fleet if a compromise is not reached.
Elsewhere, Stobart Group said it had established a renewable energy fuel supply chain, delivering 2 million tonnes of renewable energy fuel to power stations across the UK. The company expects its clean energy division to grow substantially in the coming years as power stations look to grow the percentage of energy generated from renewable sources.
In rail, the company said it had “minimal financial exposure” to Carillion’s contracts and had recently won various contracts with Network Rail, such as helping with the upgrade of the Transpennine route.
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