Smurfit 'pleased' with trading

Menzies ‘confident’ after abandoning merger talks

John Menzies, the aviation services and logistics group, reported a surge in underlying profits for the half year just 24 hours after terminating merger talks between its distribution division and DX Group.

Underlying profit before taxation rose 36% to £24.7 million, although transaction and pensions costs meant pre-tax profit fell from £3 million to £500,000.

The Edinburgh-based company has declared an interim dividend of 6p, up 11%.

It said Menzies Aviation produced a strong first half performance and the ASIG acquisition completed on 1 February is performing well and with integration plans on track.

The business continues to win contracts and infrastructure investments and innovation is producing benefits.

Dermot Smurfit, chairman (pictured), said: “I am pleased to report that the Group is trading well.

“Menzies Aviation continues to go from strength to strength. The recently acquired ASIG business is integrating well and generating many opportunities for growth. Within the rest of the business contract win momentum continued and we are benefiting from our investments into infrastructure and innovation. 

“Menzies Distribution remains a strong business, performing well despite cost and volume pressures.

“Overall, I am very pleased with the group’s performance in the first half and we look to the future with confidence as demonstrated by the increased dividend payment.”

Menzies Distribution produced underlying operating profit of £10.8m broadly flat after adjusting for football related sticker sales.

The company’s planned merger of Menzies Distribution with DX Group was abandoned after Menzies’ demand for a further revision of terms was rejected by the DX board.

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