Thursday, August 20, 2009

Newspaper Cargo Volumes Drop but Menzies Shares Soar

Profits down but future looks rosy for John Menzies
Shipping News Feature

UK, LONDON – John Menzies shareholders were ebullient today after shares rose more than 24% despite falling half year profits, down 35% over the comparative period in 2008.

Revenue at the firm, which specialise in newspaper and magazine distribution, fell by less than 1% to £821 million and there will be no interim dividend but the demise of competitor Dawson News, which passed into administration and suspended all its distribution services earlier this month, having sold many of its assets to Menzies and Smiths News. The sale figure is put at around £2 million and was made in an attempt to preserve 1800 jobs within Dawson Holdings whose other companies are said to be profitable.

It seems the current market could not sustain all three competitors, overall traffic in the sector having fallen in the past year. Menzies also has had support from its passenger airline services which have buoyed the group's figures.