GILES Wilson flew straight into market turbulence as he took temporary charge at aviation services company John Menzies yesterday.

Mr Wilson, the firm’s chief financial officer, was drafted in to run Menzies on an interim basis following the abrupt departure of Forsyth Black yesterday, who after nearly 20 years has left to pursue his career elsewhere.

His elevation comes at a tricky time for Menzies as it contends with soft cargo volumes in its operations around the world and continuing labour market challenges in the North America, where upward pressure on wages dented profits at its Americas division in 2018.

The stock market gave its emphatic verdict yesterday, as shares fell by nearly eight per cent during the day before closing down 30p at 510p.

The reaction may have taken the sheen off an otherwise healthy rise in profits for top brass at the historic company. But if it did, they certainly were not showing it. Bosses hailed a “momentous” year which saw it exit its historic newspaper and magazine distribution arm, allowing it to focus purely on aviation services, and complete the integration of ASIG, the US business it acquired in 2016.

And they underlined the strong organic growth prospects for the business in its key core markets -the Americas, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand – as well as the opportunity to make further acquisitions.

But there seems little doubt that, in the short term at least, Mr Wilson and indeed whoever gets the top job permanently face some turbulent times in the months ahead.