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Bob Ingham delivers golden egg in final year of NZ poultry production

Bob Ingham, former owner of Australia's biggest poultry producer Inghams Enterprises, achieved a record profit from his New Zealand operations in 2013, the final year before private equity firm TPG acquired the Australasian business.

Inghams Enterprises (NZ) lifted net profit by 19 percent to $27.2 million in the 12 months ended June 30, according to the annual report filed with the Companies Office. Revenue rose 5 percent to $336 million.

The Australian parent company was family owned for 94 years when sole shareholder Bob Ingham, grandson of the original founder, sold to TPG for A$880 million in June last year. The Ingham family retained bloodstock assets and some properties including the family farm.

Last year's sale means the bulk of New Zealand's chicken industry is owned by private equity investors as Inghams is the nation's second biggest poultry producer after Tegel Foods, which is owned by Affinity Equity Partners.

Inghams chief financial officer Paddy Watts declined to comment on the results

Cost of sales increased for Inghams NZ, rising 2 percent to $263.7 million. The accounts show the company reduced shares on issue to 16 million from 56 million in the final year of Ingham family ownership, after the tax department approved a share repurchase and share cancellation, suggesting a return of at least $41.5 million to the Australian parent.

The company paid out no dividend in the latest year, from a dividend payout of $12 million in 2012.

Dutch agricultural lender Rabobank has forecast global demand for poultry will increase 60 percent to become the most consumed meat globally by 2030.

(BusinessDesk)

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