John Menzies sees mixed Q1 trading as magazine market struggles

Aviation and distribution group John Menzies reported mixed trading in its two divisions during the first quarter, causing shares to edge lower on Friday morning.

Aviation and distribution group John Menzies reported mixed trading in its two divisions during the first quarter, causing shares to edge lower on Friday morning.

The firm, which saw sales slip in 2012 owing to "tough" market conditions, said that trading at its aviation unit was ahead of last year due to the annualisation of management actions and contract wins along with some favourable foreign exchange movements.

Menzies Aviation is the world's second-largest aviation services business and accounted for around a third of group revenues last year. Its largest product segment, ground handling, saw like-for-like volumes rise 2.0% and absolute volumes jump 10%. The cargo market is said to be "stable" with cargo forwarding trading ahead of last year though cargo handling volumes were down due to closures of unprofitable facilities last year.

The company's remaining operations in the UK news and magazine distribution markets, Menzies Distribution, have seen core trading behind last year as 2012 benefitted from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, as well as the Euro 2012 and Olympic sporting events. Meanwhile, the magazine market has been hit by declining volumes and the firm doesn't expect an improvement this year.

Overall, the company said that there has been no material change to its financial circumstances since its full-year results were announced in March.

"John Menzies plc remains financially sound and we remain well placed to deliver further growth," the firm said.

The stock, which has gained over 20% since the start of 2013, fell 2.72% to 770p in early trading on Friday.

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