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Record Profit For Forest Research

Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute, Forest Research has posted a record profit of nearly $3.4 million for the 2001 financial year. In announcing the outcome, Chairman Brian Armstrong noted that “While the result is a record for Forest Research, we are operating in an industry which is at the bottom of its economic cycle”.

A significant feature of the profit was the successful spin-off of the company’s interests in three major technologies — the E-grader (a multi-award winning timber stress grading machine), Engineered Wood Solutions Ltd (developers of the Greenweld finger-jointing technology) and Wood Hardening Technologies Ltd (who developed hardened radiata pine).

During the year, Forest Research extended its activity in the Australian forestry market with the establishment of an office in Sydney to complement its Melbourne base. While the Australian forestry industry has been on a downward cycle post-GST and the Olympic Games, Forest Research increased its revenues by 54% over the previous financial year. Market demand across the Tasman has focused on forest-to-mill planning and logistics solutions and mill process improvement consultancies.

Other highlights included:

 The investment of $3.9 million in capital items.
 The introduction of a Strategic Market Intelligence capability to guide in the establishment of future science platforms.
 The company was the first of the major Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) providers to facilitate the development of an industry-wide “national good” RS&T strategy.
 The establishment of a joint Centre for Advanced Composite Materials with the University of Auckland.

In meeting the Government’s requirement, Forest Research also announced that it would contribute $3 million in the coming financial year to help finance the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund. While this contribution will result in a significant increase in the company’s level of borrowings, the Board is confident it will be offset by growth in operating profitability in the future

While the forestry industry has experienced a difficult year, Chief Executive, Bryce Heard concluded that “Forest Research is embarking on a bold and ambitious development programme, with extensive planned capital expenditure to develop its science, people and facilities….. We are moving through an exciting and challenging phase in our development as we build on the initiatives that have been put in place over recent years”, he said.

ENDS

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