The shares fell 6.0% to 79p in early deals after the company joined the throng of companies withdrawing guidance in respect of full-year performance.
The company was already focused on cost management prior to the virus outbreak but is now stepping up these frugal initiatives. All directors and senior management have now taken 20% fee and salary reductions, the group revealed.
While the top brass has seen its remuneration creamed off, they are at least still working; Menzies said it had reduced its global headcount by more than 17,500 in response to the dramatic decline in business. The company clarified that these are not job cuts, merely people who are currently “away from the business at present”. John Menzies is working to ensure that these employees have access to government support packages, where available.
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The company has been on the blower to the UK Government to attempt to secure some of the emergency funding announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and is awaiting the refinement of the eligibility criteria for the COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) for which it currently does not qualify.
“John Menzies PLC has existed since 1833 and been listed since 1962 but never have we faced such difficult and unpredictable times. Our industry has been one of the most affected by COVID-19 and we are doing everything we can to reduce costs whilst looking after the needs of our employees,” said Giles Wilson, the chief executive of the company.
“I now look to our Government to support our business and for them to provide the support required to help the UK aviation sector to navigate this crisis. For the aviation supply chain to function it requires a strong inter-reliant chain of airlines, airports and service providers. Without these three components of the supply chain, working together, the sector will not function. Handlers such as Menzies are therefore essential to the recovery and future success of the UK and global aviation industry,” he declared.