Magazine slump hits Menzies

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John Menzies, the Edinburgh-based aviation and distribution group, continues to be hit by a slump in magazine sales, caused by the lack of major “social or sporting events” so far this year.

However, in a pre-close trading update yesterday, ahead of its interim results, the firm said that the performance of its freight handling business means it is still on course to hit full-year profit forecasts for a £56 million haul, up from £54.5m last year.

Mike Murphy, an analyst at house broker Numis Securities, upgraded his rating on the stock from “hold” to “add” after “share price weakness” since an interim management statement in May.

“Trading is behind last year as the first half of 2012 benefited from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the Olympics,” Murphy said. “Management does not expect an improvement during the remainder of the year in revenues, but cost management initiatives have limited the impact on the bottom line.”