Menzies urges vote to stay in the union to grasp more business opportunities

John Menzies says it hopes that Scotland does not split from the United Kingdom as Scottish companies will have more opportunities if Britain is not split up.

“We don’t actually think Scotland should be independent,” finance director Paula Bell said. “We’ll be so glad to get back to normal when it’s all over and hopefully the voters will vote for no independence.”

Recent opinion polls have suggested Scottish separatists are closing the gap on their unionist rivals ahead of the September 18 referendum, though a rejection of independence still looks more likely.

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While some Scottish firms such as Royal Bank of Scotland are mulling options if Scotland goes it alone, Bell said John Menzies would wait till the results to decide whether it needed to change.

The Edinburgh-based company yesterday reported a 9 per cent fall in first-half profit as a strong pound hit its aviation business, which carries out work such as baggage handling.

John Menzies said it expected full-year earnings from its UK ground-handling business to be “significantly down” from last year due to the loss of some British Airways business at Heathrow airport in London.

Apart from baggage handling, the aviation business handles ticketing, check-ins, aircraft de-icing and runs VIP lounges.

John Menzies did not say how much its UK aviation business contributes to overall earnings or revenue or give an estimate of how the UK aviation business woes would affect overall earnings this year.