CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Brambles Ltd. (BXB.AX, BMBLF.PK), a pooling solutions company, reported that its profit after tax for the first-half of fiscal year 2021 rose to US$293.6 million from US$277.9 million in the previous year. Basic earnings per share were 19.7 US cents compared to 17.7 US cents in the prior year.
Profit after tax from continuing operations of US$295.2 million increased 4% at constant currency as the increase in operating profit was partly offset by lower interest income reflecting the US$0.6 billion year-on-year reduction in deposit balances due to capital management activity and lower interest rates on Australian dollar deposits.
Sales revenue from continuing operations were US$2.57 billion up 6% from last year at constant currency driven by volume growth of 4% reflecting strong pallet demand from existing customers in the consumer-staples sectors, ongoing conversion of new customers in the Central and Eastern European pallets business and contributions from a large Australian RPC contract won in the second half of the prior fiscal year.
The Board has declared an interim dividend of 10.0 US cents per share. It represents a payout ratio of 50%, which is in line with Brambles' dividend policy to payout between 45% and 60% of Underlying Profit after finance costs and tax.
The interim dividend is payable on 8 April 2021 to shareholders on Brambles' register at 5.00pm on Thursday, 11 March 2021. The ex-dividend date is 10 March 2021.
Brambles upgraded its full-year sales revenue and earnings guidance to reflect the strong first-half result.
In fiscal year 2021, Brambles now expects to deliver sales revenue growth between 4-6% at constant FX rates, with improved Underlying Profit margins including an increase in US margins of about 1 percentage point; underlying profit growth between 5-7% at constant FX rates.
Customer demand is expected to remain strong for the balance of fiscal year 2021, But second-half and full-year sales revenue growth is expected to moderate from first-half levels as the business cycles a strong comparative second half period in the prior year which included record levels of pallet demand following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Underlying Profit growth is expected to be stronger in the second half of fiscal year 2021 as the business cycles higher costs in the pallets business and lost income from the Automotive business in the second half of the prior year.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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