GreenWhitestar Acquisitions (GWSA), the holding company for Eddie Stobart Limited (ESL), has given a positive trading update for the first half of the 2020 financial year.
In the first six months of the new ownership structure led by executive chairman William Stobart and chief financial officer Brian Corrway, GWSA reported revenues of circa £407m and underlying EBIT from the unaudited management accounts is expected to be at least £8m.
Net debt at period end 31 May 2020 was circa £236m (30 November 2019: £214.5m), reflecting the non-recurring costs of the re-organisation of the group and the continued investments made during the period to strengthen the business going forward.
In the first six months, GWSA said it had successfully completed phase one of the business re-organisation resulting in a significant reduction in the cost base and the long-term property liabilities.
ESL has benefited from strong exposure to the fast moving consumer and grocery sectors and a growing demand for warehousing, it said.
The news marks a welcome return to positive underlying EBIT for ESL, which made a statutory loss of £238.9m last year after ratcheting up exceptional costs of £200.2m
GWSA said the ‘Eddie Stobart’ and ‘Stobart’ brands will deliver significant future cost savings and allow the group to further differentiate the business from its competitors.