Menzies Distribution is looking to expand its logistics operation, the business it launched last October to exploit unused capacity in its newspaper distribution fleet.
In its results for the first half of 2014, it said: “The extension of logistics services using our existing network and fleet has expanded. The venture is still in its early stages but there are real signs that further expansion is possible in collaboration with others and through additional print products.”
Menzies Logistics Solutions has access to Menzies Distribution’s fleet of some 1,600 vehicles – from vans to 44 tonne trucks. The fleet is used to deliver newspapers and magazines to 25,000 newsagents and multi-national retail stores across the UK every day, typically between 4am and 8am.
Outside of those hours, the fleet works as Menzies Logistics Solutions, collecting newspapers from publishers, as well as delivering products to High Streets and to businesses.
The group said that operating profit in the Distribution division was up slightly at £12m for the first half on sales that were also up marginally at £638.7m.
“Trading performance at Distribution was boosted by a better than expected contribution from 2014 FIFA World Cup stickers and a slower than expected rate of decline in newspapers and magazines revenue.”
With sales of newspapers and magazines down some 2.7 per cent, Menzies Distribution has been rationalising its network. “The programme is planned to complete at the end of 2015, whereby the number of hub operations will substantially reduce.” It said.
Air Menzies International (AMI), the group’s cargo forwarding business, was performing in line with expectations and had opened new offices in Australia and the Netherlands, the group said.
Group sales for the first half were £992.6m, down from £997.9m in