This year's membership drive is already in motion.
- Sales revenue increased 7% driven by volume and price realization in its global pallet business and a progressive recovery in the automotive business during the year.
- Underlying profit increased 8% with contributions from pricing, surcharge income, cost efficiencies, and return on supply chain investments more than offsetting input-cost inflation, and other increases in operating costs driven by changes in network dynamics and demand patterns impacted by both COVID-19 and Brexit.
- US margin improvement of 1pt reflected an increased price realization, inflation-linked surcharge income, and benefits from investments in service center automation as well as lumber procurement and pallet durability initiatives. These operating benefits were partly offset by input cost inflation, inefficiencies driven by changes in network flows due to COVID-19, pallet shortages in the second half, and higher asset charges in the year.
- Return on Capital Invested of 17.8% increased 1.1pts as earnings growth and limited pallet purchases due to lumber shortages in the second half of the year offset higher Average Capital Invested driven by the impact of lumber inflation on pallet prices and investments to support volume growth and supply chain initiatives.
“I am very proud of how our teams responded to the challenges we faced in 2021 and our ability to strengthen our global leading position in sustainability while continuing to manage ongoing uncertainty across supply chains due to COVID-19, Brexit, and the unprecedented conditions experienced across global lumber markets.
“Looking forward, we are accelerating our Shaping Our Future program to transform our business to benefit our people, our customers, and our shareholders. This will include a step change in digitization and improved customer experience as well as further developing our culture of innovation and continuous improvement. We look forward to outlining our ambitions and the next phase of value creation at our Investor Day in September.”