BRISTOL, U.K. — Brandon Hire announced a 20-percent increase in annual sales and a 25-percent jump in operating profits for 2003.

With total 2003 sales of about U.S. $75 million, the company, which has more than 100 branches in England and Wales, announced plans to open branches in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester in the next six months, with further expansion in the north of England planned.

“We are considering several potential acquisitions and have identified new geographical areas where branch openings can be well supported by our existing customer base,” said CEO Charles Skinner. Skinner added that 2004 was off to a strong start.

Brandon operates tool rental and lifting equipment branches under the names Brandon Tool Hire and Brandon Loadtite.