Grafico Azioni Brambles (ASX:BXB)
Da Lug 2018 a Lug 2020
By David Winning
SYDNEY--Logistics company Brambles Ltd. (BXB.AU) reported a 27% fall in half-year profit as it grappled with rising transport and fuel costs, while a one-off tax benefit a year ago wasn't repeated.
Brambles reported a net profit of US$319.8 million for the six months through December, down from US$447.2 million a year earlier when it benefited from a US$130 million gain tied to a reduction in the Australian company's net deferred tax liability in the U.S.
Underlying profit, a measure of continuing operations that strips out financing costs, tax and one-time items, rose by 1% to US$504.4 million, on a constant currency basis in the half-year period.
Brambles has been striving to engineer a business turnaround after its stock was sold off following a rare profit warning and hefty writedowns in the 2017 fiscal year. While asset sales have steadied Brambles's share price, management has faced newer challenges with labor shortages in key markets and higher lumber costs, partly driven by import tariffs.
On Monday, Brambles said it expected to spin off or sell its IFCO RPC business that supplies crates for moving fresh produce to retailers in Europe, Asia and the Americas by the end of 2019. The proposed transaction, which would follow earlier deals to sell its North American recycled whitewood pallets business and stake in an oil-and-gas joint venture with Hoover Container Solutions, was first announced in August.
Half-year revenue rose by 7% to US$2.86 billion after stripping out the impact of currency swings, in line with management's expectation for sales growth of mid-single digits through the cycle. Brambles has driven growth by converting customers to pooled solutions and broadening its global footprint.
"In response to sustained levels of elevated cost inflation in most major markets, our businesses implemented surcharges and exercised contractual indexation clauses to offset three-quarters of the inflationary cost increases experienced during the period," Chief Executive Graham Chipchase said.
Directors of the company held the interim dividend steady at 14.50 Australian cents a share when compared with a year earlier.
Brambles said it expects modest growth in underlying profit in the 2019 fiscal year after stripping out currency swings, as price rises and efficiency savings cushion the impact of cost pressures.
-Write to David Winning at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 17, 2019 16:57 ET (21:57 GMT)
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