Brambles Industries PLC
25 June 2003
25 June 2003
TRADING UPDATE FOR THE 11 MONTHS TO MAY 2003
Brambles has previously announced that it will issue regular trading updates
ahead of its interim and final results. Today's update comments on year-to-date
performance in the current financial year ending 30 June 2003. The full year
results will be announced on 2 September 2003.
At the time of its last interim results, Brambles reported on the improving
performance of CHEP in the Americas, the challenges of CHEP Europe, the impact
of the container deposit directive on Cleanaway in Germany and the continuing
growth of Recall. Since then, Brambles has continued to see good revenue growth
rates in most businesses, and is making steady progress on the CHEP Europe
The Group's full year results will be within the current range of market
At present, the range of market forecasts in the UK (calculated as profit before
tax, goodwill amortisation and all exceptional items - PBTA) is between £275
million and £308 million. In Australia the PBTA range is between A$742 million
and A$830 million. Based on trading for the 11 months to 31 May 2003, we would
expect the final result in constant currency for the year to 30 June 2003 to be
around the middle of the range in Australia and a little below midway in the UK.
The adverse impact of exchange rates on the translation of profits into
Australian dollars is estimated at A$16 million.
Operating cash flow is improving, with better working capital performance and
capital expenditure has been reduced.
All the information in this trading update which relates to relative performance
refers to movements in constant currency.
Revenue in CHEP Europe for the 11 months to the end of May was more than 6%
higher than the same period last year, with contract gains over the past five
months being realised as expected. This compares with an increase of 4% in the
first 6 months.
It is one of CHEP's key objectives to provide reliable and efficient services to
its customers, and to align services and pricing more closely with customer
activity and costs. Commercial initiatives in this regard have already commenced
and further developments are planned in the coming months. CHEP will continue
its efforts to improve service quality and to ensure that it continues to
represent the most efficient option for its customers.
The implementation of the pan-European reorganisation in CHEP Europe is
proceeding to plan. Consultation with all the relevant Works Councils is
proceeding well and the centralisation of finance and administrative processes
into Spain and the UK is expected to be completed within the next financial
year. The rationalisation of the workforce had resulted in a net reduction of
approximately 100 employees by the end of May. The reduction is expected to be
fully implemented by the end of June 2004, when the workforce will have been
reduced by between 300 and 400 employees.
CHEP Europe's efforts to improve asset productivity are also beginning to yield
results, though the process is still at an early stage.
CHEP Americas revenue growth for the full year is expected to be around 11%.
This is based on the 11 months to 31 May 2003, which continued to see strong
growth in Latin America. A lower rate of growth in the USA, principally in the
last quarter, resulted from softer demand in the retail market, mainly of
In CHEP USA, the implementation of the five key performance improvement
initiatives continues to bring benefits, particularly in reduced transportation
costs and the management of its NPD (non-participating distributor) channel.
The project to consolidate service centres in CHEP USA is almost complete with
75 new service centres in operation. As a result, CHEP has made further efforts
to improve pallet quality, and hence increase customer satisfaction. The
additional cost of maintaining this higher pallet quality is around £9 million
(A$23 million) in the current financial year, with a greater proportion incurred
in the second half. Costs running at this higher level are expected to be
Rest of the World
In Australia, Asia and Africa, revenue was up by 14% in the 11 months to 31 May
and all regions are performing well.
Despite challenges in European markets, Cleanaway is continuing to perform
steadily and generate a strong cash flow. Based on the 11 months to 31 May,
revenue growth for the full year in Cleanaway's continuing businesses is
expected to be approximately 4%.
In the UK, a robust performance in dry waste is being offset by pressures in
technical waste. In Germany, the business is continuing to perform in line with
expectations notwithstanding economic conditions and the impact of the new
container deposit directive.
Looking forward in Germany, the outcome of the re-tendering process for the
packaging recycling scheme - DSD - will not be known until later in the calendar
year, although as previously mentioned, profit contraction must be anticipated
Cleanaway Australia continues to make good profit progress, in line with our
Recall is continuing to perform strongly, with revenue growth in the 11 months
to 31 May of around 17%. The organic growth rate has strengthened over the last
five months and is now above the 7% seen in the first half. Acquisitions
particularly those in US, UK and Sweden have also contributed to the strong
BRAMBLES INDUSTRIAL SERVICES AND REGIONAL BUSINESSES
Revenue in Brambles Industrial Services in the 11 months to 31 May was similar
to last year. The division is performing as expected, with Australia remaining
In our Regional Businesses, Interlake continued to trade below last year in the
11 months to the end of May given general economic conditions. The
manufacturing base of Interlake is currently being further restructured to
(a) The ranges of market forecasts shown above include all those known to
Brambles, representing a total of 18 brokers.
(b) The currency effect on the results reported in Australian Dollars is due
to the movements against the Pound Sterling, US Dollar and US Dollar related
currencies, particularly the Mexican Peso, Brazilian Real and Canadian Dollar.
(c) Relative performance measures in this trading update are shown in
constant currency. Constant currency is calculated by translating foreign
currency results at the average exchange rates applicable to the 12 months to 30
Brambles Industries is globally headquartered in Australia
For further information, contact
Investor Sue Scholes, Head of Investor Relations +44 (0) 20 7659 6012
Media Richard Mountain, Financial Dynamics +44 (0) 20 7269 7291
Investor John Hobson, Head of Investor Relations +61 (0) 2 9256 5216
+61 (0) 414 239 188 (mobile)
Media Jeannette McLoughlin +61 (0) 2 9256 5255
Group General Manager Corporate Communications +61 (0) 401 990 425 (mobile)
Brambles is a leading global support services provider with operations in more
than 50 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Africa. With
full year 2002 turnover of approximately A$8.45 billion / £3 billion, operating
profit of more than A$1,127 million / £400 million and assets of A$10.42 billion
/ £3.7 billion, it employs some 31,000 personnel worldwide. Its key global
businesses are CHEP, CLEANAWAY and RECALL.
• CHEP is the world's pioneer and leader in the provision of
pallet pooling services. CHEP pallets facilitate the efficient operation of
supply chains for most of the developed world's leading international FMCG (Fast
Moving Consumer Goods) companies. These companies require the fast availability
of high quality pallets and other types of standard loading equipment and
transit packaging wherever they operate. CHEP meets this need through its
global reach and scale, combined with its proven logistics and supply chain
management capability and its established pallet pools and infrastructure in 40
• CLEANAWAY is a leader in the collection, sorting,
recycling, transfer and disposal of waste, particularly in UK, Germany and
Australia. Through Cleanaway Germany, it is one of the largest paper recycling
and trading businesses in Europe.
• RECALL is a global business managing physical and digital
documents through their entire life cycle.
It also has a number of other global and regional businesses, such as Industrial
Services, Meineke Car Care Centers and Interlake Material Handling.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange