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Scottish independence: John Menzies backing No

Paula Bell. Picture: submitted

Paula Bell. Picture: submitted

  • by GARETH MACKIE
 

A DIRECTOR of logistics group John Menzies says Scotland would fare better if it remained part of the United Kingdom.

Finance Director Paula Bell said that the Edinburgh-based firm would have more opportunities following a No vote

She said: “We don’t actually think Scotland should be independent,

“We’ll be so glad to get back to normal when it’s all over and hopefully the voters will vote for no independence.”

A YouGov opinion poll for the Times showed a rise in support for independence with one month to go before the vote.

The poll recorded the highest level of backing for a Yes vote in its polling on the referendum question, although No support maintained a 14-point lead.

It put support for independence at 43 per cent, with 57 per cent backing the Union, excluding undecided voters.

Results

The firm today however reported a 23 per cent slide in half-year profits and warned that “unprecedented” upheaval at Heathrow will knock earnings at its ground handling business in the UK.The Edinburgh-based group, which recently announced plans to create the role of chief executive following the resignation of aviation managing director Craig Smyth, said it has lost some work as a result of British Airways accelerating its move from Terminal One to Five.

It added: “In addition, there has been unprecedented operational upheaval with the opening of Terminal Two and a rotation of contracts as 15 airlines changed their handling agent.

“As a result of this, we expect earnings from the UK ground handling business to be significantly down on the previous year. Excluding the UK, all other regions are trading positively and continue to deliver to plan.”

The alert came as Menzies posted a pre-tax profit of £14.2 million for the six months to the end of June, down from £18.4m a year earlier, on turnover broadly flat at £992.6m.

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 8.1p a share on 21 November, up from 7.7p last time.

 

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