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John Menzies replaces chairman with aviation services expert

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(Reuters) – John Menzies Plc <MNZS.L> said on Friday Chairman Dermot Smurfit will step down after the aviation servicing company named industry veteran and non-executive director Philip Joeinig to the role as the sector goes through a tough period.

The reshuffle at the company follows a warning earlier this month that earnings would not grow in 2019 as it battles weak cargo volumes, cuts in flight schedules and a difficult labour markets in North America.

European airlines have also warned of a challenging market in terms of passenger numbers even as cargo volumes stagnate.

Menzies, which offers ground handling, fuelling and cargo handling services for airlines, is also considering strategic and structural options and has appointed Swiss private equity fund manager Christian Kappelhoff-Wulff to its board.

Incoming chairman Joeinig has held a number of leadership roles in the industry, including senior executive roles within Chinese-owned aviation services company Swissport International over a ten year period.

The company also said it has appointed senior independent director David Garman as deputy chairman to work closely with Joeinig.

Menzies became a pure-play aviation business after it agreed to sell its newspaper distribution business to a private equity firm last year, buckling to long-time pressure from investors Kabouter Management LLC, shareholder Value Management and Laskestreet.

(Reporting by Samantha Machado and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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