Brambles CEO Mike Ihlein
Brambles last week reported a 19% increase in comparable operating profit (12% in constant currency) to USD500.5 million for the six months ended 31 December 2007.
Chief executive officer Mike Ihlein said the company's strong growth in operating profit was led by pallet supplier CHEP, which performed well in all regions in both sales and profit.
Ihlein said Brambles would make additional investments of up to USD750 million over the next three years, not including acquisitions, to drive further sales growth.
"Our planned investment of up to an additional USD750 million includes the beverages and food service sectors in the USA, expansion of our business in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe and China and the establishment of a CHEP presence in India. It is anticipated that, once fully realised, these investments will generate annualised sales of approximately USD600 million."
CHEP continued to develop its new business in China during the six-month period, signing contracts with a number of new customers including Tsing Tao Breweries, Nestlé Waters and Asia Pacific Breweries.
Ihlein also announced that CHEP will soon commence operating in India, a country that is experiencing rapid growth in both the fast moving consumer goods and automotive sectors.
"India is a significant long-term opportunity for CHEP and we are very encouraged by the level of interest we have received from companies that already have major relationships with CHEP in other countries. The business will be based in Mumbai and we will shortly be announcing our senior team in India.
"There are significant opportunities in other Asia Pacific countries and growth in this region will be an important focus for Brambles."