John Menzies results flying high

AVIATION and distribution firm John Menzies yesterday announced its profits will be more than 20 per cent higher this year as it revealed it had won £34 million in contracts over the last nine months.

Paul Dollman, group finance director, described the low-cost airline sector as a “sweet spot” for the John Menzies’ aviation division as it revealed new deals with customers such as Whizz Air at Luton, and Quantas’s budget hub, Jetstar, in Darwin, Australia. The group’s aviation business also renewed £60m worth of contracts in ground and cargo handling as revenues rose 12 per cent in the four months to the end of October. On a like-for-like basis they rose 6, down just slightly from the first half rise of 8 per cent.

The firm’s distribution business, which delivers newspapers and magazines, saw its revenues fall 4 per cent but the group said that this was met by cutting costs. It added that the effect of the closure of the News of the World had been “mitigated” as readers bought other papers.

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Dollman said: “The distribution division is trading robustly thanks to tight cost controls and a high substitution rate following the closure of the News of the World.”

Shares in the firm rose 2 per cent to 495p.