John Menzies has raised £22 million through the issuing of shares as it reports that underlying profitability is ahead of previous management expectations.
Despite the positive news on profitability, the group said passenger flight volumes remain far below 2019 levels as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on global aviation.
In a statement, the group said the strong performance was instead thanks to its cost savings programme delivered in 2019 and 2020, ongoing government support schemes and an enhanced commercial focus.
As a result, the statement said “the board is confident that this momentum leaves the company well placed to meet or exceed management’s underlying profit expectations for 2021”.
The group said as a result, as of 31 March 2021, net debt was £218 million on a pre-IFRS 16, covenant basis, and total liquidity stood at £126 million. The group’s position has also been boosted by the successful share issue.
Looking ahead, Menzies said the US commercial domestic sector is returning strongly with ground fuelling services ahead of expectations.
It added most other countries in the Americas are “recovering steadily” and this trend is expected to continue in Q2, while air cargo in the same regions is also ahead of expectations.
In the EMEA region, Menzies said Europe continues to suffer from ongoing travel restrictions with the recovery in both ground and fuelling services far below expectations for the year to date.
Again though, air cargo services continue to perform well while new start-ups in the in the region are delivering to plan.
As far as the rest of the world is concerned, Menzies added it is trading well, particularly in Australia where domestic ground services business won early in the year help to drive an increase in volumes. Air cargo services in both Australia and New Zealand also remain strong and ahead of expectations.
Menzies also added its cargo forwarding business AMI continues to maintain good momentum following a record year in 2020 and continues to exceed expectations thanks to constrained air cargo capacity and this is expected to continue as AMI wins new contracts.