Menzies 2

Menzies Distribution’s sale is “taking longer than anticipated”, its parent company admitted today.

In a trading update, John Menzies said it remained upbeat about the sale despite the delay, adding that it was already in talks to sell it.

John Menzies first announced plans to sell its distribution arm as part of financial results published in mid-March.

“As detailed in our final results, a sale process for Menzies Distribution is in progress. This process is taking longer than we anticipated but we remain fully engaged with a number of potential buyers,” said the trading update.

“We remain hopeful that we will be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion and will update shareholders at the appropriate time.”

John Menzies said its distribution arm was “trading positively”, despite a 5% sales decline within the print media category against the same period last year.

The company added that newspaper volumes were in line with expectations, while magazines were trading better than predicted.

It also said that it has implemented its cost saving plans and was making progress with its new revenue initiatives to maximise its assets during daylight hours.

The trading update asserted that the group was “on track” and that the board was “confident of achieving its full-year projections.”

“I am pleased that our aviation business continues to go from strength to strength,” said John Menzies chairman Dr Dermot Smurfit.

“We are operating in a structural growth market. We are extremely well placed to extend our geographical presence and overall market share as we grow organically, enter new markets and deepen our product offering. We remain committed to our group separation plans and I remain hopeful that we can reach a satisfactory conclusion.”

In financial results for the year ending December 2017, Menzies Distribution’s operating profits increased by 0.4% to £24.8m for the year ending December 2017. Meanwhile parent company John Menzies increased its operating profit by 42% to £39.2m in the same period.