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John Menzies trading ahead of last year but still no sign of a sale of its distribution arm

"Looking ahead, excluding the impact of previously flagged weaker foreign currency, the group continues to be on track"
Menzies delivery van
North American operations continue to be affected by labour issues that are holding back returns in this region

Distribution business John Menzies PLC (LON:MNZS) continues to trade ahead of last year in 2018.

In a statement released ahead of today’s annual general meeting, the company said the positive start highlighted in March has continued.

READ: John Menzies acquires Airline Services aircraft de-icing business

At Menzies Aviation, trading across the division has generally been positive with strong cargo volumes continuing to prevail, ground handling and fuelling volume in line with expectations and continuing positive contract momentum.

The up-for-sale distribution arm, Menzies Distribution, is trading positively. Within the print media category, sales were down 5% year-on-year, with newspaper volume in line with expectations but magazines trading better than forecast.

Cost saving initiatives are delivering against plan and the group said it continues to make progress with its new revenue initiatives where it is seeking to optimise its existing assets during daylight hours.

The group said the sale process is taking longer than anticipated but there are still a number of parties showing interest in acquiring the business.

"I am pleased that our Aviation business continues to go from strength to strength,” said Dr Dermot Smurfit, the chairman of Menzies.

“We are operating in a structural growth market, we are extremely well placed to extend our geographical presence and overall market share as we grow organically, enter new markets and deepen our product offering. We remain committed to our group separation plans and I remain hopeful that we can reach a satisfactory conclusion," he added.

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