Brambles Announces Strong Growth in 1Q

Brambles Limited, the world’s leading provider of pallet and container pooling solutions, delivered sales revenue of US$1,407.2 million in the first quarter of the 2012 financial year, up 32%1 on the prior corresponding period (27% in constant currency2). Excluding the contribution of operations acquired since 1 July 2010, sales revenue was up 9% (4% at constant currency).

Chairman Graham Kraehe said: “Brambles’ strategy of diversifying our product and service range and expanding into new and under-served geographies is enabling us to continue to deliver sales growth despite the challenging economic conditions that prevail in many of our major countries of operation.”

CEO Tom Gorman said: “The main drivers of our strong sales performance in the first quarter of this financial year were the contribution of the IFCO operations acquired in March 2011, new business growth in emerging markets for the CHEP Pallets businesses and expansion in the Containers segment.”

• In the Pallets segment, sales revenue was US$933.0 million, up 19% (15% in constant currency), as follows:
– Americas sales revenue was US$498.1 million, up 27% (26% in constant currency), primarily reflecting the inclusion of the IFCO Pallet Management Services business. Excluding this contribution, Americas sales revenue was up 5% (4% in constant currency) as new business wins enabled strong growth in Latin America and Canada and modest growth in the USA.
– Europe, Middle East & Africa sales revenue was US$348.3 million, up 9% (4% in constant currency) as strong growth in Central & Eastern Europe and Middle East & Africa and increased penetration in countries including Germany and Italy offset the impact of ongoing weak economic conditions in Spain.
– Asia-Pacific sales revenue was US$86.6 million, up 21% (8% in constant currency) as a result of the ongoing expansion of the CHEP operations in Asia, solid growth in New Zealand and modest growth in Australia.

• In the Reusable Plastic Crates (RPCs) segment, sales revenue was US$194.1 million, up 350% (324% at constant currency), as a result of the IFCO acquisition. IFCO’s RPC sales revenue growth compared with the same period in the 2011 financial year, prior to its acquisition by Brambles, was 31% (24% at constant currency), reflecting continued growth in Europe and the Americas as customers adopt reusable solutions in favour of disposable one-way packaging.

• In the Containers segment, sales revenue was US$71.8 million, up 34% (25% at constant currency), as a result of the contribution of newly-acquired businesses (CAPS and the operations that now comprise CHEP Aerospace Solutions) as well as growth in the pre-existing Automotive business in Europe.

• Recall, which Brambles has announced its intention to divest, delivered sales revenue of US$208.3 million, up 13% (6% at constant currency) on strong new business growth. Brambles intends to launch the formal sale process by the end of November, provided international debt markets continue to be sufficiently stable to enable bidders to secure finance.

Mr Kraehe said: “Despite continued subdued economic conditions, Brambles is on track to deliver Underlying profit in the 2012 financial year within its guidance range of US$1,040 million to US$1,100 million3, at 30 June 2011 foreign exchange rates. This guidance remains subject to unforeseen circumstances and ongoing global economic uncertainty.”

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