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Biosciences Company Continues To Shine Amidst Global Economic Gloom

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s dire consequences for the global economy, a young New Zealand biosciences company has appointed its first Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Auckland BioSciences, which has grown rapidly since it was established in 2014 by Dr John Chang and Suzana Chang, manufactures animal serums which it exports to veterinary vaccine manufacturers and research institutions in 14 countries including China, India and Russia, and the Americas.

Its manufacturing process, which has been disrupted by New Zealand’s pandemic response, involves separating serum from animal blood sourced from meat processing companies around New Zealand.

Dr Chang, who is the company’s Managing Director, says turnover in the last financial year was more than $10 million and further significant growth is expected in the current year despite production ceasing during the lockdown. He says the financial impact has been lessened by the Government’s wage subsidy scheme.

“For Auckland BioSciences, the government wage subsidy had the desired effect. In the early, uncertain days of lockdown, a young company like ours would have had to reduce staff, including our production staff. But we are now back in production and aiming high.”

In just six years, Auckland BioSciences has gone from being based in a shipping container at an Auckland abattoir to having more than 40 staff at its headquarters in Rosedale, Auckland, its recently-opened office and additional processing site in Christchurch and manufacturing sites around the country. It has now reached a level of maturity where it requires a dedicated CFO.

“We are delighted that Mark Dawson has taken up the new role of Chief Financial Officer at Auckland BioSciences. He brings more than 30 years of finance and accounting, and corporate governance experience to the company,” Dr Chang says.

Prior to joining Auckland BioSciences, Mr Dawson was the Acting CEO of Development West Coast. He managed a $130 million investment fund that originated from a $92 million adjustment package provided by the government in the late 1990s following the loss of indigenous forestry and the privatisation of infrastructure on the South Island’s West Coast.

Before establishing Auckland BioSciences, Dr Chang spent five years as the Trust’s Chief Executive where he worked closely with Mr Dawson who, at the time, was the Trust’s Chief Financial Officer.

“I know from my time working with Mark on the West Coast that he is well respected by his industry peers for his ethical approach to his work and he is considered to be a man of principles. He is also a popular leader. It is great to be working with him again at Auckland BioSciences,” Dr Chang says.

Mr Dawson who, prior to joining Development West Coast held roles with one of the big four professional services firms in Christchurch and Wellington, says he could not resist the opportunity to work with Dr Chang again.

“John is a great commercial operator, which is evident by the rapid growth Auckland BioSciences has experienced. We are planning for more growth to come. I am looking forward to helping the team determine which opportunities the company will take.”

ABOUT AUCKLAND BIOSCIENCES

  • Winner of NZTE’s 2018 Best Emerging Business Award 
  • Winner of ExportNZ’s 2018 DHL Best Emerging Business (goods exporter) Award 
  • Named a Deloitte Fast 50 company in 2018 for annual revenue growth of more than 180%

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