In the 2011 financial year Brambles focused on three key areas: delivering our near-term objectives, making ongoing investments in our future and implementing our long-term strategic plan. We are pleased to say that we made solid progress against each of these targets.
Graham Kraehe AO, Chairman and Tom Gorman, CEO.
We delivered a strong increase in sales revenue and profit. All our business units reported increased sales as they continued to win new customers, despite challenging economic conditions in our major countries of operation. Our quality and service improvement program in CHEP USA, Better Everyday, continued to deliver for our customers.

We invested substantially in our future. We invested in business development and innovation opportunities throughout the company, and we made a series of acquisitions to complement our organic growth strategy, including IFCO.

We finalised and began to implement an exciting long-term growth strategy. In line with this strategy, we will focus on building our global equipment pooling solutions business by expanding into more customer segments, diversifying our range of products and services and growing geographically, including in emerging markets.

The IFCO acquisition has positioned Brambles as the leading global provider of reusable plastic crates (RPCs) to the fresh produce sector, complementing our position as the global leader in pallet pooling. We are particularly well placed to expand the RPC business in the USA, Europe and emerging markets.

We have developed sufficient growth opportunities in the pooling business to support a single focus for Brambles, so we intend to divest our information management business, Recall, as and when financial market conditions support an appropriate outcome for shareholders. When we receive proceeds from the Recall sale, it will enable us to fund additional growth in pooling, in which we are confident the organic growth opportunities present a long-term return profile in line with our existing pallet pooling business. We will also use those proceeds to reduce debt in line with our net debt to EBITDA target and our commitment to maintaining our BBB+/Baa1 credit ratings. We will consider capital management initiatives should there be funds surplus to our growth needs.

To assist with the delivery of our strategy, we announced a new management and reporting structure effective 1 October 2011. This is based on our three product categories: Pallets, RPCs, and other Containers, such as those used in the automotive, aviation, bulk goods and chemicals sectors.

We have identified incremental organic capital investments of US$550 million to expand our RPCs, Containers and emerging markets Pallets businesses further over the 2012 and 2013 financial years. Since our 2010 annual report, we have announced three small acquisitions in the Containers sector, acquiring Unitpool and JMI Aerospace — to establish a global presence in aviation container pooling — and Container and Pooling Solutions (CAPS), a provider of intermediate bulk containers to the food, automotive and general industrial sectors in the USA.

The new reporting structure will facilitate greater efficiencies in the global Pallets business as we apply best practice standards worldwide. We have identified US$60 million of annual cost efficiencies in the global Pallets business that we can deliver by the end of the 2015 financial year. These savings will be in addition to US$40 million of annual synergies we expect to achieve by the 2014 financial year from the integration of IFCO.

Brambles is in a strong position to deliver its strategy of creating a global pallet and container pooling business across a wider range of customer segments as we diversify our range of products and services and expand into emerging markets.