John Menzies plc, the Edinburgh-based global aviation services business, said on Tuesday it “continues to trade slightly ahead of current market expectations.”
Menzies said it continues to pursue strategic priorities and it has “a number of business development opportunities in play.”
In an update on current trading ahead of its interim results on September 1, 2021, Menzies said: “Commercially, the first six months of the year has been very strong and significantly ahead of last year.
“In May we commenced a new air cargo services contract for Avianca Airlines in Miami, USA, which is the largest single air cargo services contract the group has ever secured.
“Operations have started very well and we are delivering enhanced service levels to our customer.
“As outlined in our statement in May 2021, we continue to pursue our strategic priorities and have a number of business development opportunities in play.
“In June 2021, we announced an investment to acquire a minority equity stake, by way of a joint venture, in JFreight Aviation Logistics Supply Chain Co. Ltd at Guangzhou, China.
“This venture, at one of the world’s busiest cargo airports, will open in September 2021 and is our first significant venture in mainland China.
“Further opportunities exist across all product categories with a good geographical spread.
“It is anticipated that we will make further announcements in the second half of the year as a number of these ventures complete.”
Menzies added: “Regional variations exist with ground services in Europe particularly weak but this is offset by encouraging trading elsewhere driven by new business gains, a generally strong performance within air cargo services, extremely tight cost management and additional support from government schemes.
“The group’s financial and liquidity position remains robust.
“At 30 June 2021, net debt was £183m on a pre-IFRS 16 basis, and total liquidity stood at £179m leaving the group with significant headroom to allow us to deliver on our strategic priorities.”