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Tegel chair unexpectedly quits

NZN 4/05/2017 Paul McBeth

Tegel Group chairman James Ogden has unexpectedly quit the board, effective immediately, after less than a year overseeing the poultry company's direction as a publicly listed company, without an explanation.

Mr Ogden, who is also a director of Warehouse Group, Vista Group International, Summerset Group and Alliance Group, joined the Tegel's board ahead of its initial public offering in May last year, when it raised $284 million selling shares at $1.55 apiece.

The shares rose as high as $1.80 in August, but have since tumbled, recently trading at $1.17 as a glut of chicken has driven down prices and seen investors lower their expectations for the company's earnings, which are scheduled for June 27.

"The board would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Ogden for his leadership and dedication to the board and Tegel over the past year and wishes him all the very best for the future," it said in a statement without saying why he left.

The company wasn't immediately available for comment.

Independent director David Jackson has been elected to succeed Mr Ogden as chair, and the board has kicked off a process to find a replacement director, Tegel said.

In December, Tegel warned annual earnings would miss the company's prospectus forecast due to the oversupply of chicken weighing on prices and as rising freight costs squeezed margins.

Annual underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation are expected to be between $75m and $85m in the year ended in late April, down from projected proforma earnings of $87.4m for the 2017 year.

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