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Brambles Industries (BI.)

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Thursday 23 February, 2006

Brambles Industries

Interim Results - Part 1 of 4

Brambles Industries PLC
22 February 2006



Brambles 

23 February 2006

    Brambles reports strong results for the half-year ended 31 December 2005
   =========================================================================

Brambles today reported a 30% increase in profit before tax and special items
for its continuing operations (32% in constant currency) to US$280.6 million for
the half-year ended 31 December 2005.

Profit after tax before special items for continuing operations increased by 27%
to US$180.1 million (29% in constant currency).

Profit after tax (including discontinued operations) was 28% higher (31% in
constant currency) at US$251.9 million.

Free cash flow of US$157.3 million again exceeded the dividends paid of
US$142.8 million.

These results are prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards
(IFRS) and also reflect the adoption of US dollars as Brambles' presentation
currency.

Highlights of the key financial results for the half-year include:

                                                                                      % Chg.
Half-year ended 31 December                                                        (Constant
(IFRS US$ millions)                                          2005     2004   % chg. Currency)
                                                           ----------------------------------
Continuing operations before special items
Sales revenue                                              1,707.6  1,601.1       7         8
                                                          -----------------------------------
Operating profit                                             342.3    285.0      20        22
                                                            ---------------------------------
Profit before tax                                            280.6    215.6      30        32
                                                           ----------------------------------
Profit after tax                                             180.1    141.4      27        29
                                                          -----------------------------------

Group
Profit after tax (before special items)                      265.9    206.3      29        31
                                                            ---------------------------------
Profit after tax                                             251.9    196.5      28        31
                                                           ----------------------------------
Earnings per share (before special items) (US cents)          15.7     12.2      29        30
                                                          -----------------------------------
Earnings per share (US cents)                                 14.8     11.6      28        30
Dividend
Australia (Australian cents)                                  11.5     10.0      15
UK (pence)                                                   4.887    4.156      18
                                                           ------------------------
Free cash flow                                               157.3    236.5
                                                           ----------------
Net debt                                                   2,023.1  2,569.0
                                                           ----------------
Gearing (Net Debt/Net Debt + Equity)                         45.3%    51.5%
                                                            ---------------

Currency and percentage comparisons and accounting conventions are set out on page 4 

                                     Page 1

The Chief Executive Officer of Brambles, David Turner, said: 'Brambles had a very 
strong half-year. We recently announced our intention to concentrate on CHEP and Recall, 
our businesses with premium growth potential, to divest our other activities 
and to unify the dual-listed companies (DLC) structure.

'CHEP delivered excellent results in the first half of the year. Operating profits were 26% ahead of the prior
 corresponding period, with good growth in all regions including another very strong performance from CHEP Americas.
Notwithstanding a weak start to the year from Recall, we are looking to a better performance in the second half.

'Cleanaway's profits were markedly higher in the half to December. Brambles
Industrial Services' Northern Hemisphere business was divested in December 2005,
as was Eurotainer. Other planned disposals are in progress and have generated a strong level of interest.

'We have increased the interim dividend by 15% to 11.5 Australian cents (4.887 pence, up 18%).'

Outlook
--------

CHEP Americas is expected to show continued strong growth for the full year.
Sales growth and ongoing operational improvements are underpinning this
performance.

In CHEP Europe, the focus on operational efficiencies, improved customer service
and sales growth are expected to contribute to ongoing profit growth.

CHEP Rest of World is trading well and is expected to continue to do so.

In Recall, the focus is on growth and on the delivery of operating efficiencies.
After a weaker first half, an improved performance is expected in the six months
to June 2006. A number of initiatives have been introduced to deliver improved
returns over the next two years. The business provides an attractive long-term
opportunity with an above average growth and profitability profile.

Trading within the businesses to be divested is good. Cleanaway's performance
continues to be markedly better while Brambles Industrial Services is performing
well. The divestment programme is proceeding to plan and, subject to shareholder
approval, unification of the DLC should be completed by the end of November 2006. 

Overall, the outlook for Brambles is positive. We expect good progress in profit
and solid cash generation in the second half.

Currency and percentage comparisons and accounting conventions are set out on page 4

                                     Page 2

Operational Highlights for the half-year ended 31 December 2005
---------------------------------------------------------------

Continuing operations
---------------------

   • Brambles Value Added (BVA) increased by US$61 million to US$136 million;

   • CHEP Americas sales growth was 12%, an increase of 11% in constant
    currency, and resulted largely from a continuation of good volume growth.
    Comparable operating profit increased by 51% (48% in constant currency).
    Operational improvement programmes have resulted in further reductions in
    transportation costs. BVA increased sharply by US$46 million to US$67
    million as operating profit margins improved from 17% to 22% and there was a
    further increase in asset productivity;

   • CHEP Europe sales grew by 1% (5% in constant currency) and comparable
    operating profit increased by 11% (16% in constant currency). The new
    pricing architecture is expected to continue to improve profitability over
    the next 18 months through changing customer behaviour and reducing CHEP's
    cost to serve. It is also helping to strengthen asset management, with
    improvements seen in the 'control ratio';

   • CHEP elsewhere continued to grow well;

   • Recall's performance was weaker for the half-year. Although sales were
    5% higher, operating profit was 8% lower. In North America, rising
    transportation costs along with the impact of lower recycled paper prices
    adversely affected profitability against a backdrop of lower organic sales
    growth. Performance in Europe was strong and continued to gain from previous
    improvement initiatives; and

   • Recall completed the acquisition of AUSDOC in Australia with effect from
    29 November 2005 at a cost of A$260 million (US$193 million). The
    integration is progressing well.

Discontinued operations
-----------------------

   • Comparable operating profit increased 31% (36% in constant currency) to
    US$128.2 million for the half-year ended 31 December 2005;

   • Under IFRS, depreciation, amortisation and the recognition of the share
    of profits of joint ventures and associates cease once an asset is
    reclassified as being held for sale. If the impact of this accounting
    treatment is excluded, the underlying improvement in comparable operating
    profit was 12% (14% in constant currency);

   • Cleanaway performed particularly well in both the UK and Rest of World;

   • The sale of Cleanaway Germany was announced on 13 October 2005 and is
    expected to be completed before the end of the 2006 financial year; and

   • Brambles Industrial Services' Northern Hemisphere business was sold on
    29 December 2005 for US$242 million and Eurotainer was sold on 21 December
    2005 for US$106 million.

Currency and percentage comparisons and accounting conventions are set out on page 4

                                     Page 3

Notes:

   • Continuing operations refers to CHEP and Recall. On 29 November 2005,
    Brambles announced that it intended to focus on these two businesses and
    divest itself of Cleanaway, Brambles Industrial Services and Regional
    Businesses. The businesses to be divested will be progressively sold during
    2006, and from the date of the announcement are reported for accounting
    purposes as discontinued operations.

   • All US$ figures are presented in IFRS and quoted at actual exchange
    rates.

   • Constant currency relative performance is calculated by translating both
    current period and comparable period results into US$ at the actual monthly
    exchange rates applicable for the comparable period. Its purpose is to show
    relative performance between periods before the translation impact of
    currency fluctuations.

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

   • Comparable operating profit is profit before finance costs, tax and
    special items.

   • Free cash flow is cash flow generated by the business after net capital
    expenditure, finance costs and tax but excluding the net cost of
    acquisitions and proceeds from business disposals.

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    +61 (0)2 9256 5255
          Affairs                                    +61 (0)439 470 145 (mobile)

                Brambles is globally headquartered in Australia

Analyst briefings will be held on 23 February at 10am AEDT in Sydney and 8.30am
GMT in London. Both briefings will be webcast and available with supporting
slides on www.brambles.com


Currency and percentage comparisons and accounting conventions are set out on page 4

                                     Page 4 








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