Menzies Distribution recorded an operating profit of £24.8m, up 0.4% on last year

Menzies Distribution has been officially put up for sale by parent company John Menzies.

The announcement, which was made as part of its annual results presentation yesterday, comes after it scrapped plans for a £40m merger of its newspaper and magazine distribution network with DX Group last August, following “further financial due diligence on DX”.

“I am very pleased that despite a number of distractions Menzies Distribution produced a solid performance, holding underlying profits flat in the face of declining volume and increasing wage costs,” said John Menzies chairman Dr Dermot F Smurfit.

“We continue to make good progress on our separation plans and a sale process for Menzies Distribution is now underway.”

Sales of newspapers and magazines continued to decline in line with company expectations, as like-for-like magazine volumes fell by 9.5% and newspaper volumes dropped by 9.9%. The volume hit was eased by £7m in cost savings.

Menzies Distribution recorded an operating profit of £24.8m, up 0.4% from last year, which Smurfit described as a “solid result in the light of continuing volume decline and increased wage costs”.

John Menzies reported a 21% rise in turnover to £2.51bn for the year ending December 2017, up from last year’s £2.O8bn. Operating profit also increased 42% to £39.2m.