Menzies closes in on CEO as cost cutting kicks off

Giles Wilson - 'on track to meet our expectations'. Picture: Greg Macvean
Giles Wilson - 'on track to meet our expectations'. Picture: Greg Macvean
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John Menzies, the ­Edinburgh-based ­aviation services group, has embarked on an “efficiency improvement programme” that will result in costs being slashed by more than £10 million.

The group, which spun out its newspaper and magazine distribution arm last year in a milestone move for the 186-year-old business, said the cost savings would impact both its central and regional operations.

Releasing a trading update to coincide with its annual shareholder meeting, the firm told investors: “This programme will drive efficiencies across Menzies to ensure bottom-line benefits are delivered while building on the new systems and processes we are deploying.

“Actions already taken will help underpin this year’s forecasts and will deliver incremental benefits in 2020.”

The firm also said it was closing in on the appointment of a chief executive while flagging improved trading. It pointed to “good visibility” on summer schedules and a “positive” start to the year with the renewal of key contracts.

However, cargo volumes had a “poor start to the year”, Menzies added, and they continue to track behind last year.

Interim chief executive Giles Wilson said: “I am pleased to report we are on track to meet our expectations.

“We have started the year well commercially with key contracts renewed and new contracts won and our recently launched efficiency programme is progressing well and benefits are being delivered.

“We have a strong and experienced team in place and I am confident that by continuing to deploy leading edge systems and processes that we will deliver our customers needs and sustainably grow our business.”