Date: May 02 2012
Brambles says it is on track to meet its full-year profit target after unveiling a 33 per cent rise in its latest sales results.
The outlook helped spark a jump in Brambles shares, with the stock leading the ASX200 share index higher. Brambles gained as much as 34 cents, or 4.7 per cent, to $7.59 in early trading.
The world's biggest pallet supplier said total sales from continuing operations rose by a third to hit $3.56 billion in the nine months to the end of March, compared to the previous corresponding period.
On a pro forma basis, which assumes Brambles had owned businesses it acquired since July 2010 for the entire corresponding period, sales were up by 7.0 per cent.
The main drivers of the sales growth came courtesy of acquisitions, improvements in the US-based CHEP business and expansion of the company's pallets and crates arms.
Chief executive Tom Gorman said the expansion of Brambles products and services had helped offset the effects of subdued underlying organic volumes in the pallet operations in the US, Western Europe and Australia.
He said Brambles continued to expect group underlying profit for the 2012 financial year to be between $US1.05 billion ($A1.02 billion) and $US1.08 billion, subject to unforeseen circumstances and economic uncertainty.
Brambles in February downgraded its full year underlying profit forecast to fall in that range, three months after predicting a result of up to $US1.1 billion.
Bramble's current forecast assumes the inclusion of a 12-month contribution from the Recall information management business it recently sold.
The company in late March said it expected to complete the Recall sale within four to eight weeks, which was later than originally expected.
Brambles said it still expected to wrap up the sale within that time frame.
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