Stobart hauls a growing profit

Stobart, the road haulier, reported an increase in half-year profits and sales, despite warning of a "tough market" for the business.

The lorry business drove a 6.5 per cent rise in underlying profits to £16.4m for the six months to 31 August, as sales rose by 15.3 per cent to £281.1m.

Andrew Tinkler, the chief executive of Stobart, which also offers services across railways, ports, airports and civil engineering projects, said: "The weak economy has held back our rate of profit growth, particularly in transport and distribution. The road transport operations were affected by fluctuating customer demand during the summer."

Stobart's transport rival Wincanton also warned of "challenging" conditions but said its trading had been in line with expectations. Wincanton gave its update as it revealed details of the disposal of its remaining businesses in mainland Europe.

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