John Menzies forecasts loss but says flights slowly restarting

(Reuters) - Airport services group John Menzies MNZS.L expects to report a loss for the first half, but said it is re-starting operations amid a partial return of flight schedules after the COVID-19 pandemic stalled airline activity earlier this year.

Menzies, which offers ground handling, fuelling and cargo handling services for airlines, also said on Thursday that it had agreed to a new banking covenant to help it ride out the fallout from the pandemic.

The company said its first-half revenue dropped about 33% in constant currency terms and its second-half profitability would largely depend on government support and cost controls, as the pandemic continues to hammer the global travel industry.

“In the first six months we added 27 million pounds of net annualised revenue from commercial activities,” John Menzies said in its statement, adding that it had secured “significant” new business after the first half of the year.

John Menzies also said its cargo volumes continued to be resilient and cargo brokerage is trading ahead of expectations.

Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath