Aviation Drives John Menzies Profit

Aviation Drives John Menzies Profit

John Menzies, the U.K. aviation services and distribution company, posted a 4 percent increase in profit in 2012 as a strong performance by its cargo handling unit outweighed restructuring costs.

Underlying pretax profit grew to £58.4 million ($87.3 million) from £56.4 million ($84.6 million) in 2011 as revenue shrank by £17 million ($25.5 million) to £1.99 billion ($2.98 billion).

The aviation unit’s operating profit was up 10 percent at $53.4 million, and revenue grew 3 percent to $1.05 billion, reflecting a net gain of 30 new contracts and the renewal of a further 94 agreements.

Cargo handling profit was $2.4 million higher at $15.5 million as new contracts and network rationalization outweighed the impact of a 5.6 percent like-for-like decline in freight volumes.

The Scotland-based company said the closure of its loss-making cargo handling business at Chicago O’Hare airport is on track and will boost operating profit this year by around $2.25 million.

The Chicago closure, which was decided after the company failed to find a buyer for two years, will cost $10.5 million, taking total restructuring charges to $27 million.

Menzies Aviation is the second-largest ground and cargo handling company in the world, operating at 132 airports in 30 countries with more than 18,000 employees.

AMI, the global air freight wholesaling unit, posted a profit of $3.7.5 million, an increase of $900,000 from 2011.

The newspaper and magazine distribution business booked an unchanged profit of $43.2 million on $1.95 billion of revenue.

“Overall, the challenging trading climate continues, but prospects for the group remain strong and the board is confident of delivering further growth during 2013,” the Edinburgh-based company said.