Private company accounts of James Packer, Stan Perron and Jack Cowin show billionaires have enjoyed a good year

The release of the accounts of the private companies of James Packer, Perth billionaire Stan Perron and Hungry Jacks’ franchise owner Jack Cowin have added weight to suggestions that these wealthy entrepreneurs have put the GFC well and truly behind them.

The accounts of Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings show net profit increased 9% to $167.5 million in 2009-10 to $167.5 million, while revenue increased 7% to $432.3 million.

However, it was the dividend paid by the company to Packer that really impressed, jumping 33% to $74.4 million, thanks mainly to the strong performance of Packer’s two flagship investments in casino operator Crown and media company Consolidated Media Holdings.

ConsMedia finance director Michael Johnston told The Australian that keeping debt at a “very manageable level” had been a focus.

“You’ve only got to live through one or two sharemarket corrections to realise you don’t want to be over-geared.”

Stan Perron’s private investment and property vehicle reported a profit of $149 million for the 2009-10 period, compared with a loss of $71 million in the previous corresponding period, although that result was dragged down sharply by a write-down of $147 million.

Jack Cowin, who has spent a good chunk of the last few months involved in the takeover battle for Julia Ross’s recruitment company Ross Human Directions, saw profit at his private company Consolidated Foods rise from $21 million to $32 million.

Revenue at the company increased by 15% to $1.04 billion, an impressive effort given soft consumer spending.

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