John Menzies Pretax Profit Falls on Changes at London Heathrow

John Menzies Plc’s first-half earnings fell as the U.K. distributor and cargo handler was hurt by currency movements, declining magazine sales and changes at London’s Heathrow airport.

Pretax profit declined 23 percent to 14.2 million pounds as sales dropped to 992.6 million pounds ($1.7 billion) from 997.9 million pounds a year earlier, the Edinburgh-based company said in a statement today. On a constant currency basis, sales climbed 2.7 percent to 1.03 billion pounds.

“The group continues to progress despite challenges faced in aviation in terms of continued airline pricing pressure and operational issues within our U.K. handling business,” Chairman Ian Napier said in the statement. “Notwithstanding these, we have enjoyed a very strong contract win this season and aviation remains well-placed to continue to grow.”

John Menzies’s shares fell 3.4 percent to 619.5 pence at 3:58 p.m. in London, taking the decline to 13 percent this year and giving the company a market value of about 380 million pounds.

Most of Menzies Aviation’s stations are outside the U.K. and the business was hurt by adverse movements in currencies including the Australian dollar, South African rand, Indian rupee and U.S. dollar. At London’s Heathrow airport, business suffered as British Airways accelerated a move from Terminal One to Terminal Five, handling more work itself, and as 15 airlines changed their handling agent.

Sales across the newspaper and magazine categories dropped 2.7 percent.

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