THERE was no sign of investor anger about executive pay at John Menzies' general meeting when shareholders gave almost 100% backing to the Edinburgh-based company's remuneration report.

Menzies told investors that 99.85% of proxy votes cast had supported the pay report for 2011 which showed the boardroom pay bill increased by 3% annually to £1.87 million in the year from £1.81m in 2010. No votes were cast against the report at the meeting.

By contrast, Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy became the most high-profile victim of the so-called shareholder spring of discontent against spiralling executive pay on Thursday, when 67% of votes cast opposed its remuneration report for 2011. Cairn's directors' pay bill rose to £7.2m in 2011 from £4.8m in the preceding year.

Menzies' chairman Ian Napier told the meeting the aviation support to newspaper distribution company has made a good start to the current year. It achieved record underlying profits of £56m in 2011.

While the global economic uncertainty is impacting on the group's aviation support business trading is ahead of last year.

It has been appointed to handle some 19,500 flights annually out of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester in a multi-million-pound five-year deal with British Airways.

The cargo and ground- handling businesses have been growing, reflecting contracts won last year and investment in new routes.

The distribution business has enjoyed a boost from sales of stickers ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer competition.

Group finance director Paul Dollman said the timing of international sporting events means John Menzies enjoys a similar effect every second year.The company has developed plans to deal with the logistical challenges it will face during the forthcoming Olympic Games in London. But it expects the event will lead to increased sales.

The distribution business is trading ahead of last year despite the challenges faced by publishers.

"Monday to Friday newspaper revenues have continued to be positive, driven by cover price growth, with weekend titles performing largely as expected," said Menzies, which gets a percentage of the cover price.

Magazine sales are broadly in line with management expectations. However, Menzies said sales in the weekly category have been disappointing.

The profitability of the division should be supported by ongoing efforts to cut costs, which will involve rationalisation of the branch network in central Scotland.

Menzies is closing a branch in Cambuslang and shifting magazine delivery work from Dundee to Edinburgh.

The moves will result in the net loss of around 50 of the 1500 jobs in the division in Scotland.