John Menzies on the up as aviation arm thrives

JOHN Menzies yesterday upgraded its profit forecasts after its aviation business flourished despite the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

Menzies Aviation more than doubled operating profits in the first half as cargo volumes
returned following the end of the global recession.

On the ground-handling side Menzies won 44 contracts, including a £70m five-year deal with Lufthansa/bmi covering more than 90 flights at Heathrow, which starts in October. Underlying group profits rose 46 per cent to £19.3m on revenues 12 per cent higher.

In its news distribution – which is the more traditional side of the company – Menzies said it was continuing to gain from the exit from the industry of one of its major rivals Dawson last year. However, newspapers sales fell. It received a one-off boost from the distribution of World Cup stickers.