Eddie Stobart poised to buy Southend Airport

8.11.2008 (Southend Echo)

MAJOR transport company the Stobart Group, is poised to take over Southend Airport.

The long-term lease of the Southend Council owned airport has been on the market since the beginning of the year with a
price tag of £55million.

Current operators Regional Airports put the airport on the market earlier this
year and a decision was originally expected by the end of June.

However, there have been continuing delays, but a decision is now expected within
three days.



and there are a number of comments on the article …
see also
News & Star

Haulage firm Eddie Stobart records £11 million half-year profits

Haulage giant Eddie Stobart today announced recession-busting half-year results,
turning in an impressive pre-tax profit of £11 million.

Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler declared himself delighted with
the figures, saying he expects the company to continue expanding despite the global
economic downturn.

Stobart Group is also likely to take advantage of the looming recession by continuing
to acquire other companies.

The latest profit figures, for the six months to the end of August, confirm that
Stobart Group made a profit before tax of £11m.

The figure represents an astonishing record of commercial success at a time when
other haulage firms are shedding jobs. The company’s revenue from its business
operations were £199.2 million.

Among the most impressive results are those for the Stobart Group’s road haulage
operations, where revenues grew by 30 per cent and operating profits by an astonishing
132 per cent.

Speaking from the Stock Exchange in London today, Mr Tinkler said he believed
the company is thriving because it has adopted a business model that cuts down
on waste. Unlike other hauliers who are often contracted to work for just one
customer, Stobart organises its business so that trucks are not returning empty
to depots.

A truck will typically make a delivery to one customer and then move on to the
next nearest customer, avoiding the need for profitless return journeys to a depot.

"That means that 84 per cent of our trucks are always transporting goods rather
than driving back to somewhere without goods," he said. "It’s a system we’ve brought
over from the railways. That and our pay-as-you-go system is something that is
working well, especially in the economy as it is at the moment. If a company’s
business shrinks, then the amount they spend with us shrinks."

Mr Tinkler said he expects his firm to continue growing and to continue its recent
trend of acquiring new companies, developing Stobart’s role as a multi-modal transport
group, which transport capabilities in the realms of road, air, and rail.

He added: "I’m pleased with our latest figures.

"We have just got to keep growing our business and develop our model of transport
to fetch in new customers.   Our hopes for Carlisle Airport are down to the planning
process, but our hope to create a cross-dock system there should create an extra
100 jobs at the site.   There are real opportunities at Carlisle Airport."

Stobart Group is currently bidding to acquire Southend Airport in Essex, which
is for sale by sealed offer.

If Stobart does buy it, the airport would give the firm a potentially lucrative
air route into the south east.