Menzies shares fall amid disappointing trading

Shares of Edinburgh-based John Menzies plc, the global airport services firm, fell 12% on Friday after it warned in a trading update that earnings for the full year are not expected to exceed last year because its performance in the first half has been below expectations.

Menzies’ main business is now Menzies Aviation, a global provider of passenger, ramp and cargo services. 

Menzies Aviation operates at 219 airports in 37 countries, supported by 32,000 people.

“Trading across the group has been disappointing, reflecting the challenges that the wider aviation market is currently facing driven in part by weak cargo volumes and flight schedule reductions,” said Menzies.

“Against this backdrop, performance in the first half of the year has been below expectations and consequently the board now believes that earnings for the full year are not expected to exceed last year.

“As previously announced, the group has been implementing several actions including a cost rationalisation programme that will deliver at least £10m of cost savings, the majority of which will materialise in 2020, a revitalisation of our commercial offering and a greater focus on returns from the deployment of our systems.

“Overall the board believes that the medium and long term fundamentals of, and prospects for, the business are sound and remain confident that the actions being taken in the current year underpin the board’s expectations for 2020.”

Menzies CEO Giles Wilson said: “The overall aviation market is having a difficult year.

“This inevitably is having an impact on our full year outturn.

“However, I firmly believe in the structural growth dynamics within our industry and allhistorical data points to recovery.

“Accordingly, I believe we remain well placed to prosper.

“Since my appointment I have taken a number of actions to right size the business, we have also restructured our commercial teams to ensure weare ready to seize opportunities as they present themselves.”