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Brambles Industries (BI.)

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Wednesday 24 August, 2005

Brambles Industries

Final Results - Part 1

Brambles Industries PLC
23 August 2005


24 August 2005

        Brambles reports strong results for the year ended 30 June 2005

Brambles today reported strong results for the year ended 30 June 2005 with
profit before tax, goodwill amortisation and exceptional items of £378 million
up by 23% over the previous year (24% higher in constant currency). Profit after
tax, goodwill amortisation and exceptional items of £219 million was 74% higher
(76% in constant currency). Free cash flow was £337 million, £88 million higher
than the previous year.

Underpinning Brambles' result was a strong improvement in CHEP's comparable
operating profit which grew to £290 million, an increase of £66 million.

Highlights of the key financial results for the year include:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Year ended 30 June                                      2005      2004      %chg.     %chg.
(UK GAAP £ millions)                                                                 (Constant 
                                                                                      Currency)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sales                                                  3,307     3,112        6           8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Comparable operating profit                              452       381       19          20
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Profit before tax, goodwill amortisation
and exceptional items                                    378       307       23          24
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Profit before tax, after goodwill amortisation and
exceptional items                                        347       224       55          56
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Profit after tax, before goodwill amortisation and
exceptional items (after minorities)                     254       210       21          22
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Profit after tax, goodwill amortisation and 
exceptional items (after minorities)                     219       126       74          76
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earnings per share (before goodwill amortisation and
exceptional items) (pence)                              15.0      12.4       21          22
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earnings per share (after goodwill amortisation and
exceptional items) (pence)                              12.9       7.5       72          75
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dividend (pence)                                       8.971     8.073       11           8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Free cash flow                                           337       249
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Net debt                                               1,230     1,395
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Gearing (Net Debt/Net Debt + Equity)                   49.7%     55.5%
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

The Chief Executive Officer of Brambles, David Turner, said: 'This is a very
good outcome with sales growth in each of our businesses and earnings per share
(before goodwill amortisation and exceptional items) 21% higher than the
previous year. In particular, CHEP had an excellent year.

'We have built on a good first half and grew comparable operating profit for the
year by 19% to £452 million. The strong cash flow resulted in all our financial
ratios strengthening, and our return on capital improved from 12% to 15% with
gearing now below 50%. We have also increased our second interim dividend to
4.815 pence per share.

'We continue to drive value based management through the Group and remain
focused on further improving customer service to underpin long term sales and
profit growth.

Definitions, currency, percentage comparisons and GAAP conventions are set out on page 3

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'The outlook is positive. In the early part of the current financial year the
Group is performing well and we expect further good progress in profit and solid
cash generation for the year ahead.'

2005 Business Unit Highlights
-----------------------------

   • CHEP sales were 7% higher at £1,488 million (9% in constant currency)
    and comparable operating profit improved by 29% to £290 million (31% in
    constant currency). Capital expenditure increased by only £1 million to £265
    million whilst cash flow from operations (after net capital expenditure) was
    £97 million higher at £327 million;

   • CHEP Americas' comparable operating profit increased by 52% (58% in
    constant currency) on the back of solid sales growth of 5% (10% in constant
    currency). Improved operational efficiencies and the non-recurrence of
    one-off charges also aided profit growth in CHEP USA;

   • CHEP Europe benefited from restructuring and pricing initiatives and
    delivered a 17% improvement in comparable operating profit. Sales grew by
    7%. The implementation of activity-based pricing initiatives remain on track
    and is expected to be largely completed by December 2005;

   • CHEP Rest of World sales were 13% higher (12% in constant currency) and
    comparable operating profit 21% higher, with first half volume particularly
    strong;

   • Cleanaway's sales were 5% higher (6% in constant currency) though
    comparable operating profit was 8% lower at £82 million. As expected,
    comparable operating profit did increase in the second half of the year (up
    £8 million) compared with the first half due to significantly improved
    results in the UK. Cleanaway is expected to increase profits in 2006 with
    improvements in Australia and the UK;

   • Recall grew sales by 6% (8% in constant currency) with improvements in
    all regions resulting in good organic growth of 6%. Comparable operating
    profit was 9% higher at £47 million (14% higher in constant currency) with
    Document Management Solutions performing well, particularly in Europe;

   • Brambles Industrial Services delivered another good result with
    comparable operating profit of £38 million, an increase of 12%. During the
    year the business continued to invest to support contract wins and future
    growth; and

   • Regional Businesses achieved a sharp lift in profitability with
    comparable operating profit rising to £9 million.

Definitions, currency, percentage comparisons and GAAP conventions are set out on page 3

                                        2

Notes:
------

All £ amounts are presented in UK GAAP and quoted at actual exchange rates.
Sales refers to sales of continuing businesses including share of joint ventures
and associates.

Comparable operating profit is defined as profit before interest, tax, goodwill
amortisation and exceptional items.

Constant currency relative performance is calculated by translating both current
period and comparable period results into sterling at the actual monthly
exchange rates applicable for the comparable period.

Where only one percentage comparison appears, the actual and constant exchange
rate calculations give the same rounded result.

Free cash flow is defined as cash flow generated by the business after net
capital expenditure, interest and taxation but excluding the net cost of
acquisitions and proceeds from business disposals.

Return on capital invested is defined as comparable operating profit divided by
average capital invested. Average capital invested is calculated as a 13 month
average of net assets before tax balances, dividend provisions, cash, borrowings
and accrued interest but after adding back accumulated goodwill amortisation and
accumulated net pre-tax exceptional items.

For further information, contact:

UK
--

Investor    Sue Scholes, Head of Investor Relations            +44 (0)20 7659 6012

Media       Richard Mountain, Financial Dynamics               +44 (0)20 7269 7291

Australia
---------

Investor    John Hobson, Head of Investor Relations            +61 (0)2 9256 5216
                                                               +61 (0)414 239 188 (mobile)
                                                       
Media       Michael Sharp, Vice President Corporate Affairs    +61 (0)2 9256 5255
                                                               +61 (0)439 470 145 (mobile)

                Brambles is globally headquartered in Australia
                -----------------------------------------------

An analysts' briefing will be held in London at 8.30am on 24 August 2005. This
will be webcast and available with supporting slides on www.brambles.com

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                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange