John Menzies on track to hit its targets

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John Menzies, the aviation and newspaper distribution group, said it was on track to meet its annual targets for the year despite expecting to be hit with a £2 million “headwind” on currency fluctuation relative to a strong pound.

Volumes in its luggage handling business grew 2.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the year so far, and rose 7.8 per cent as a result of new contracts and acquisitions, said the firm in a market update yesterday.

Cargo volumes were “stable but soft”, falling 7.3 per cent on a like for like basis, but up 2.5 per cent overall.

The Edinburgh firm said it had completed a restructuring of its loss-making cargo handling operations in the UK and now only operates through a single facility at Heathrow. But the company still maintains its lossmaking cargo facility at Chicago O’Hare airport, which is expected to add losses of £1m to £1.5m this year.

On the distribution side, Menzies said newspaper sales were “ahead of expectations” due to cover price increases, as well as new deals to handle business from News International and DC Thomson, which outsourced the distribution of its newspapers to Menzies in July.

The company has extended its bank facilities to 2015.