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GNS Reports After-Tax Profit Of $1.67 Million


GNS Reports After-Tax Profit Of $1.67 Million

The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS) has posted an after-tax profit of $1.67 million for the year to June 30, up 5.4 percent on last year's result of $1.58 million.

The profit is the biggest in the company's 10-year history and continues a five-year unbroken trend of growing profits and increasing revenues.

The Crown Research Institute's Annual Report, tabled in Parliament this week, shows a 12.6 percent return on equity - the fifth year in a row that GNS has achieved a return on equity of greater than 9 percent. Total revenue was $38.1 million (2001: $31.3 million), and total assets were $24.5 million ($25 million).

One of the smallest and most scientifically diverse of the nine Crown Research Institutes, GNS's activities include assessment and mitigation of geological hazards, and providing advice on sustainable management of geological resources such as geothermal energy, groundwater, minerals, and oil and gas reserves. It is also New Zealand's leading organisation for developing isotope technologies to help industry, science, and the environmental sector.

Fifty-six percent of the Company's revenue comes from the government's public good science and technology funds, with the balance from consultancy work for the private and public sectors.

Public good science revenue has increased only slightly from $20 million in 1998 to $21.2 million in 2002. Commercial revenues have grown 48 percent to $9.5 million since 1998.

Chief Executive Alex Malahoff said the past year was notable for increases in commercial revenue for a number of services. These included radiocarbon dating, risk management services, groundwater analysis, and specialist services to the petroleum exploration industry.

Dr Malahoff said GNS played a vital role in helping to increase the commercial success of petroleum exploration in New Zealand.

" With depleting gas reserves and continued volatility in crude oil prices, GNS's specialist services in this area will be crucial to the New Zealand economy in the coming years.

" There are exciting petroleum prospects off the North Island's west coast and the work that GNS does is acting as a catalyst in helping to turn these resources into a commercial reality."

Developing sustainable geothermal energy was another area where GNS could make an important contribution. Modern geothermal energy plants were efficient and environmentally benign.

" As other forms of energy become less attractive in economic and environmental terms, New Zealand's geothermal resources will assume greater importance. GNS will continue to be a key player in developing new geothermal prospects and in helping to make existing plants operate more efficiently."

During the past year GNS had invested $3.3 million ($3.2 million) in new scientific equipment and in new software needed to keep staff up with the latest technology internationally.

One of the company's larger undertakings was a ten-year, $50 million project to progressively upgrade the instrument networks that monitor earthquakes, volcanic activity, and land stability in New Zealand.

Called GeoNet, the project is being core funded by the Earthquake Commission to the tune of $5 million-a-year for the next 10 years. The funding is enabling GNS to buy, install and operate modern equipment to monitor New Zealand's geological hazards.

The project was started in 2001. Already the upgraded equipment had made a noticeable improvement to the speed and accuracy of earthquake and volcano data.

The Geonet website - www.geonet.org.nz - was proving popular both in New Zealand and offshore. As well as providing up-to-date earthquake information from New Zealand, it featured digital images of New Zealand's active volcanoes, with images updating hourly.

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