JOHN Menzies has appointed a veteran of the aviation services business as its new chairman as the shake-up at the group continues.

The Edinburgh-based logistics firm said yesterday that Philipp Joeinig had become chairman with immediate effect after Dermot Smurfit notified the board of his intention step down.

Menzies said Mr Joening would bring deep experience of the aviation services business it has decided to focus on.

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Last week the company issued a profit warning saying trading had been disappointing. It noted the challenges the wider aviation market was facing amid weak cargo volumes and flight schedule reductions.

A former management consultant, Mr Joeinig has held senior roles with the Swissport aviation services business and became a non-executive director of John Menzies in 2017.

Mr Smurfit has overseen dramatic changes at Menzies since he was appointed chairman in July 2016.

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The process culminated in Menzies cutting its historic links with the news trade last year. The company sold its newspaper distribution arm to private equity firm Endless in a £74.5 million deal, to concentrate on aviation support.

It had faced repeated calls for a break up,

Menzies noted yesterday that Mr Smurfit also oversaw the $202m acquisition of the ASIG refuelling business in 2016, which it described as transformational.

However, the company has faced challenges in the aviation market since deciding to concentrate on it.

John Menzies highlighted “soft cargo volumes” and continuing labour challenges in the North American market in March when it announced Forsyth Black had stepped down as chief executive. Former chief financial officer Giles Wilson succeeded him.

Some 19 per cent of votes cast at the company’s general meeting in May opposed the re-election of Mr Smurfit as chairman.