Australia-based poultry company Ingham’s reported a volume increase in fiscal year 2018.

The company, which released its annual financial results on August 22, stated that its core chicken and turkey volume grew at 3.2 percent when compared to the volumes of the previous fiscal year. Most of that volume growth for Ingham’s, which has operations in Australia and New Zealand, was in Australia, as volumes there increased by 2.8 percent.

But growth in New Zealand was also reported, with the company stating that the increased volumes in New Zealand were driven by demand at the retail and quick service restaurant level.

Other highlights for the fiscal year included a 4.4 percent year-over-year increase in gross profit and the company’s net debt at AU$145.5 million (US$107.3 million) was more than halved when compared to that of FY 2017.

Progress on expansion projects

Ingham’s reported that three expansion projects are progressing, with two of them expected to be completed in the next fiscal year.

Ingham’s is building a new feed mill in South Australia, which is expected to be in commercial production during the first quarter of FY 2019. The company’s investment in new breeder facilities in New Zealand are expected to be completed by in the first half of FY 2019.

Ingham’s is also progressing with plans for a new feed mill and hatchery in West Australia, and those facilities are expected to be operational in the 2021 fiscal year.

Departure of CEO

The release of the FY 2018 financial results marked the end of Mick McMahon’s tenure as CEO of Ingham’s.

It was previously announced that McMahon would step down from the role, but would remain available until the end of the calendar year to help ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

The company continues to search for a permanent CEO, but during the interim, Quinton Hildebrand, currently Ingham’s chief commercial officer, will be the acting CEO.