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New business gains drive post-pandemic growth at John Menzies

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AVIATION services group John Menzies is trading “slightly ahead of current market expectations” with its performance in the first six months of the year, describing it as “very strong and significantly ahead of last year”.

In a trading update ahead of its interim results in September, Edinburgh-based Menzies, which has been heavily impacted by the downturn in air travel sparked by the pandemic, pointed to “further opportunities” across its business, noting that the air cargo services contract it secured in May with Avianca Airlines in Miami had “started very well”.

The update stated: “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.”

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At the end of June, total liquidity stood at £179 million, leaving the group with “significant headroom to allow us to deliver on our strategic priorities”.

Menzies told investors: “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.”

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The firm noted that it has a “number of business development opportunities in play” and last month announced a £3.4m investment to acquire a minority equity stake, by way of a joint venture, in JFreight Aviation Logistics Supply Chain Co Ltd in China.

Menzies will manage and operate a new cargo terminal at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport – one of the world’s busiest cargo airports.

“Further opportunities exist across all product categories with a good geographical spread,” Menzies noted. “It is anticipated that we will make further announcements in the second half of the year.”

The firm can trace its history back to 1833 when its founder John Menzies opened a bookshop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

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