Volumes at Menzies Aviation and Air Menzies International – the air cargo and freight forwarding divisions of John Menzies – remained strong in the first half of the year as new contracts stemmed wider losses at the firm.
In the six months to 30 June 2020 John Menzies saw significant declines in its ground-handling and refuelling activities as passenger air travel ground to a halt, but said that its cargo handling services and cargo forwarding business performance had been resilient, and it would look at further opportunities for expansion in the cargo market.
Overall turnover fell to £431.5 million in the half, compared to £649.9 million a year ago. Its loss before tax widened to £80.1 million, from a loss of £4.4 million in the same period in 2019.
In its cargo business, it said that volumes in Amsterdam were robust and its operations at London Heathrow were boosted by a contract awarded by Qatar Airways for their cargo handling business.
Menzies said that since the end of the half it had won further cargo business with Qatar Airways in Los Angeles, its fifth contract award with Qatar this year.
It said that its cargo forwarding business, AMI, performed strongly during the year and was trading ahead of expectations. It said that AMI had benefited from a shortage of cargo capacity across the world as passenger flights were grounded during the half, which had led to an upturn in bookings and a general improvement in rates across the business.
Philipp Joeinig, Executive Chairman of John Menzies, said: “Due to the actions taken in 2019 to re-shape the business commercially, we are making real progress, winning new contracts, particularly in cargo, and I expect this to continue in the second half.
“Expansion opportunities are emerging, and we will selectively look to take advantage of the current situation. Like others in aviation, we know we are not out of the woods yet.”