February 27, 2020 / 8:01 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-John Menzies warns of coronavirus hit to annual profit

(Adds additional details, quote on coronavirus hit)

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Aviation services group John Menzies said on Thursday it would take a hit of between 6 million and 9 million pounds ($7.8 million-$11.7 million) from the coronavirus outbreak, assuming the impact of the virus subsides towards the end of the second quarter.

Menzies, which offers ground handling, fuelling and cargo handling services for airlines, said the biggest disruption would be seen at its operations in Macau, where the company handles Chinese carriers.

“The situation is still evolving, and we only have limited visibility of what flight schedules are being impacted into March and beyond, so it is difficult to assess how extensive the impact could be at this point,” the company said.

John Menzies, which has already been hurt by the fallout from the global grounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets, said “mitigation actions” are in place, and it was trying to control costs and expenses.

Airlines have suspended thousands of flights because of the outbreak, and governments ramped up measures on Thursday to battle a global pandemic of the coronavirus as the number of infections outside China for the first time surpassed those appearing inside the country.

British travel-food company SSP warned of a 50% fall in February sales across the Asia Pacific region on Wednesday, as the outbreak drove a collapse in domestic and international air travel.

$1 = 0.77 pounds Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Bernard Orr

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