The theme of Brambles’ 2014 Annual Report is One Business, One Team. This reflects our journey from an industrial conglomerate to becoming a logistics services company focused on our leading global positon as a pooler of unit-load equipment to some of the world’s most important supply chains.
Over the past 15 years, this journey has included the merger with the support services arm of GKN in 2001; the sale of Cleanaway, Brambles Industrial Services and other non-core businesses over 2005 and 2006; the Unification of our dual-listed companies structure in 2006 and subsequent return of US$3.7 billion to shareholders; a number of strategic acquisitions, most notable that of IFCO Systems in 2011; and the demerger of the Recall information management business in December 2013.
We have built unrivalled expertise and customer relationships in equipment pooling since we acquired the Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool (CHEP) from the Australian Government in 1958. Today, we are proud to own and operate more than 470 million pallets, crates and containers on behalf of customers that include some of the world’s leading companies, in more than 50 countries. We believe we have a unique and sustainable advantage, from which we can continue to pursue compelling growth opportunities, which will continue to drive superior economic returns for shareholders.
We wish to thank our customers, our shareholders and Brambles’ 14,000 employees – as well as the Company’s management team and our fellow directors – as we look to the Year ahead.
Graham Kraehe AO