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Inghams Group hails ‘resilient result’ amid covid chaos

Home-cooked grilled chicken breast.

Uncertainties surrounding its supply chain, manufacturing facilities and consumer demand during the Covid-19 crisis, clipped the wings of chicken processor Inghams Group. 

The company has reported a post-tax profit down 23.6 per cent to $78.8 million for the year to June 27. 

In Australia, the company’s core poultry business grew by 4.3 per cent year on year, but that was offset in part by a 2-per-cent decline in New Zealand poultry volumes due to the Level 4 lockdown restrictions in the fourth quarter. There was an industry-wide surplus of product in both markets.

“The Covid-19 pandemic brought significant challenges to the Australian and New Zealand poultry markets and to our supply chain and operations,” said CEO and MD Jim Leighton. ”Today’s results demonstrate resilience but not immunity from these challenges.”

The disruption of the pandemic brought the positive operating momentum of the second and third quarters of the year to a sudden end. Government measures to contain the virus saw production facilities forced to reduce capacity or close altogether. Since June 27, the company has had to close its Thomastown Further Processing plant due to Covid-19, while Victorian operations are operating with a reduced workforce due to state government policy.

“We introduced measures to minimise the potential impacts of the coronavirus on our people whilst mitigating disruption to our supply chain,” said Leighton.

“We have also worked collaboratively with our customers, and our operations have quickly responded to changing demand requirements to ensure supply continuity of our high quality products during this period of considerable stress and uncertainty.”

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