Pallet supplier Brambles has maintained its growth forecasts as it looks to expand in central and eastern Europe after posting a 26 per cent increase in first half profit.
Brambles made a net profit of $US302.5 million ($A296.68 million) in the six months to December 31, up from $US239.5 million in the previous corresponding period.
The company's underlying profit in the six months to December, which includes earnings from its continuing operations before the impact of one-off financial items, was $US490 million ($A480.58 million), up seven per cent on the same period the previous year.
Chief executive Tom Gorman said the company had undertaken a successful reorganisation and was on track to deliver its growth and efficiency programs.
"Our first half results demonstrated that our growth programs are delivering as forecast," Mr Gorman told analysts on Thursday.
"We have continued sales momentum throughout the business."
The company has forecast a full year underlying profit of between $US1.03 billion ($A1.01 billion) to $US1.06 billion ($A1.04 billion).
The company said the result reflected the strength of its established operations and its ability to deliver profitable growth.
Mr Gorman said the economy had improved in the US, but the situation in Europe was more challenging.
He said Brambles would continue to invest in central and eastern Europe.
The company's European operations were in line with previously stated guidance.
"Even in difficult economic times we continue to add more customers," he said.
The company's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) businesses were performing resiliently.
In recent years the company had strengthened its partnerships with customers, diversified its range of products and services in pooling solutions and grown into new regions.
Brambles was developing into a more efficient, leaner, more focused and more integrated organisation.
The company declared an interim dividend, of 13.5 cents per share, franked to 30 per cent, up from 13 cents in the previous corresponding period.
Brambles shares closed eight cents, or 0.94 per cent, higher at $8.59.