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Haulier Stobart's revenue jumps 33 pct as Autologic buy pays off

(Reuters) - British haulier Stobart Group Ltd's (LSE:STOB) first-half revenue from continuing operations jumped 33 percent, helped by its acquisition of Autologic Holdings in mid 2012.

The company, whose Eddie Stobart trucks deliver goods to retailers like Tesco (TSCO.L), reported an underlying pre-tax profit of 13.8 million pounds in the six months ended August 31, up 5 percent from a year ago.

Revenue from continuing operations rose to 330.2 million pounds from 247.4 million pounds a year ago. Autologic, now called Automotive, brought in revenue of 54.5 million pounds.

In its transport and distribution division, of which automotive is a part, revenue rose 33 percent to 297.5 million pounds. Stobart acquired Autologic in June 2012 for 12.4 million pounds, giving it a market leading share in the automotive logistics market.

"Our market-leading Transport business continues to perform well and our growing Air and Biomass divisions are beginning to deliver on their potential," Chief Executive Andrew Tinkler said in a statement.

Transport, Stobart's biggest division, has been hit by the downturn in the British retail sector and was restructured over the past year. The company has also diversified into rail, biomass energy, property and airport facilities.

Revenue in the company's air division rose 32 percent to 10.4 million pounds.

Stobart said airport infrastructure work on London's Southend Airport was almost complete and expected the extended terminal building to open in January.

Revenue in the biomass division rose to 11.3 million pounds from 6.6 million pounds a year ago. Biomass tonnages increased 52 percent despite some customer plant commissioning outages, the company said.

Shares in Stobart were down 1 percent at 128.25 pence in thin morning trade on the London Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Roshni Menon in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)