StockMarketWire.com - London Southend airport owner Stobart Group said it had decided to cut its dividend after conducting a capital review.

The fourth quarter dividend would be reduced to 1.5p per share, bringing dividends for the full financial year to 15p, down from 16.5p on-year.

Stobart said it decided it would be more prudent to use proceeds from further asset disposals to invest in 'value-created opportunities based on sustainable operating cash generation and to maintain a strong balance sheet'.

'The board recognises the importance of dividends to its shareholders and will update the market accordingly, once it has completed the capital review,' it added.

Stobart also announced that operational progress at its aviation and energy divisions had continued during the second half, and that the company was trading in line with its expectations.

Stobart aviation had reported a 37% jump in passenger numbers at London Southend airport in the year, the company said.

'The expansion opportunities at London Southend Airport are increasingly evident in view of the opportunities arising from the commercial agreements with Ryanair and easyJet, together with other airline partners,' the company said.

'Similarly, Stobart energy has a number of investment opportunities which are being evaluated including building, owning and operating renewable energy plants that will generate long-term, sustainable operating cashflows.'



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