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GNS Posts $1.66 Million After-Tax Profit

GNS Posts $1.66 Million After-Tax Profit

Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS) has reported an after-tax profit of $1.66 million for the year to June 30.

The result was $280,000 ahead of budget and just $10,000 short of last year's record profit. GNS also paid a dividend of $750,000 to the Government.

The Crown-owned research and consultancy company's annual report, tabled in Parliament today, shows an 11.9 percent return on shareholders' equity against 12.6 percent in 2002. This is the sixth year in a row that GNS has achieved a return on equity greater than its weighted average cost of capital.

Total revenue was $37.2 million ($38.1 million) and expenses were $34.7 million ($35.5 million). Total assets grew from $24.5 million to $25.4 million.

Fifty-eight percent of GNS's revenue came from the government's contestable public good funding and 14 percent from the Earthquake Commission-funded GeoNet project. The remaining 28 percent came from consultancy work for a wide variety of sectors.

Chief executive Alex Malahoff said the sound financial result reflected prudent management and a concerted effort at all levels of the organisation to deliver research that meets the needs of New Zealand and overseas markets.

While commercial revenue has increased steadily since 1998, revenue from the Foundation for Research Science and Technology has remained almost flat for the third successive year.

" This has resulted partly from changes in funding philosophy and partly from the nature of the bidding opportunities stipulated by the Foundation," Dr Malahoff said.

GNS would continue its programme of investing in frontline scientific equipment and computing hardware and software to ensure that its scientists could continue to deliver competitive and world-class services and products.

During the next few years, GNS would focus on a number of key areas, Dr Malahoff said. These included:

• Determining the location and size of New Zealand's oil and gas resources

• Exploring the seabed within New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone to

identify strategic geological resources

• Expanding GNS's capability in nanotechnology

• Developing a broad range of novel scanning technologies for industry

• Improving the knowledge of New Zealand's main active faults and their potential impact on people and cities

• Helping to harness new geothermal energy and improving the efficiency of existing developments

• Developing a world-class facility for research into microscopic organisms that live in hostile volcanic and geothermal areas

• Setting up a post-graduate school in earth and ocean sciences with university partners

• Developing a research centre focused on the past climates of New Zealand and Antarctica.

" All these initiatives will yield far-reaching benefits for New Zealand," Dr Malahoff said.

GNS is one of the most scientifically diverse of the nine Crown Research Institutes. Its 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 a leader in developing isotope technologies for industry and environmental science. GNS employs 273 full time staff and has offices in Lower Hutt, Wairakei, and Dunedin.

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