Menzies Shuts Down Cargo Handling At ORD

Scottish group John Menzies said yesterday restructuring work at both its divisions would lead to an £18million ($29 million) hit on profits.

The airport service provider and newspaper distributor added that despite the exceptional charge in its annual results the overhaul would leave the group in a stronger position with a more stable platform for growth.

Edinburgh-based Menzies said its 2012 results would be in line with expectations.

It also said its aviation arm was to close loss-making cargo-handling operations in Chicago, having looked at alternative options for two years.

The decision will lead to a one-off £7million ($11 million) charge in the 2012 figures but earnings before interest and tax are expected to be boosted by £1.4million ($2.2 million) this year as a result of the closure.

Menzies exited similar operations recently at Glasgow, Birmingham, East Midlands and Manchester airports, allowing it to focus on a single facility at Heathrow.

The company also said finance director Paul Dollman would step down at its AGM in May to concentrate on building a “portfolio career”.

Chairman Ian Napier said: "Paul has done an outstanding job for John Menzies over the last 10 years.

“He has been an integral part of the executive team and has played a key role in the success of the group. A full search process (for a replacement) is under way and we will make a further announcement at the appropriate time.”

Menzies employs 17,000 people at Menzies Aviation, which operates at around 130 airports in 29 countries. The distribution arm has a 4,000-strong workforce and handles around 5million newspapers and 2.1 million magazines every day.