WARRINGTON-based Stobart Group warned its operating performance for the current year could be “slightly lower” than market expectations.
In a trading update for the period from September 1, to date, it said its transport and distribution arm remains affected by the uncertain economic environment.
It said its chilled operation has remained challenging, and so has decided to discontinue the business as a standalone unit.
The Eddie Stobart transport division reported similar trading last month to the previous year and said it will use the traditionally quieter January and February period to control costs and reduce risk to its final quarter trading.
The airport operation at London Southend incurred greater costs than anticipated due to faster than expected initial growth.
It opened in time to handle London Olympics traffic last year and since launching in April has welcomed more than 600,000 passengers.
Work has started on further terminal expansion and its main customer, Easyjet, has announced it will base a fourth aircraft there from June.
The group’s biomass division has contributed a good performance in the second half of the financial year, despite its expansion plans being hampered by the timing of Government legislation.
Its estates division is working towards the disposal of several group properties, but progress is slow due to current market conditions.
Overall, the board says it expects the group’s operating performance for the year to be slightly below current market expectations.
It said it continues to focus on realising value from all investments, “while managing the business in the delivery of trading results in the current uncertain economic environment”.