Brambles closes Cleanaway's London office

The Anglo-Australian pallet giant Brambles Industries shut down the London headquarters of its industrial waste management business yesterday, in the latest in a string of costly restructuring exercises.

The Anglo-Australian pallet giant Brambles Industries shut down the London headquarters of its industrial waste management business yesterday, in the latest in a string of costly restructuring exercises.

About 20 jobs will go as Brambles ships the running of its Cleanaway business to Brussels to try to cut costs. Jean-Louis Laurent, the chief executive of Brambles' industrial services business, will oversee Cleanaway as its current boss, Gerben Westra, is stepping down.

The move to Brussels will trim about £2m from the £290m profits expected this year. However, Brambles has pencilled in annual savings of about £2m in years to come by running the two businesses under one roof.

The Sydney-based company is looking to slash costs after profits plunged 44 per cent in the six months to December following more problems at Chep, its pallet business.

Brambles, the world's biggest supplier of wooden pallets, is already set to take a hit of about £40m this year to pay for earlier changes to the structure of the group. That comes on top of a £62m exceptional charge in the 12 months to June 2003.

One City analyst said: "This is a business that has been in perpetual change over the past four years. Brambles has become renowned for exceptional costs."

A series of profit warnings and downgrades has hit the shares, which were down 3.5p at 206.25p yesterday, well off their 372p high in 2001.

In May, Brambles reassured investors that business was finally on the up at Chep, which accounts for about 60 per cent of group profits. A month later, it surprised the market by unveiling yet another restructuring of Chep, a business that analysts had thought was back on track. Brambles split Chep in two - one half to cover the Americas and the other Europe. Victor Mendes, the division's global head, left the company.

Two divisional chiefs will now report directly to David Turner, who replaced Sir CK Chow as group chief executive last year.

The shake-up cost about 30 jobs and followed several earlier changes in the division since Brambles' merger with the industrial service arm of the engineer GKN in 2001.

Brambles "lost" 14 million pallets in 2002 and this year was ordered by a US court to stump up £350,000 to an American pallet recycler for storing 30,000.

The former FTSE 100 company, listed in London and Sydney, has seen profits slump after building up a huge excess of pallets in Europe, prompting it to axe 400 jobs to save £10m a year.

Cleanaway has deals with Croydon, Medway and London's Tower Hamlets councils and is developing a waste facility for Greenwich. Cleanaway also clears municipal, commercial and industrial waste in Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing