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GNS posts $1.4 million after-tax profit - 10/10/2000

The Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS) has posted an after-tax profit of $1.4 million for the year to June 30, a 28 percent improvement on last year’s result of $1.1 million.

The Company’s Annual Report, tabled in Parliament this week, showed a 13.1 percent after-tax return on equity against figures for the two previous years of 11.6 percent and 12.4 percent respectively. The operating surplus was $1.9 million ($1.5 million 1998/99) and total revenue was $29 million ($27.8 million). Total assets rose to $18.8 million ($16.7 million).


The smallest and one of the most broadly based of the nine Crown Research Institutes, GNS has roles ranging from assessment and mitigation of geological hazards, to assessment of hydrocarbon, groundwater, mineral and geothermal resources. It is also New Zealand’s leading centre for developing isotope technologies for industry. GNS employs 260 staff, with 200 at Lower Hutt, 40 at Wairakei, and 20 in Dunedin.


Chairman Derek Milne said profits generated during the past three years had largely been used to upgrade scientific equipment needed to keep GNS competitive in its main areas of expertise. GNS had managed to increase after-tax profits since 1997 while steadily increasing the pay of researchers and hiring some top-flight researchers from overseas.


Dr Milne said this year’s strong result could not have been achieved without a determined effort to hold operating costs, which were 1 percent lower than in the 1996/97 year, excluding pay and depreciation.


" It is pleasing to see most of our revenue growth coming from New Zealand. This is a reflection that most of our knowledge and technology transfer is occurring within New Zealand and is therefore helping to make the economy and New Zealand society more competitive and resourceful," Dr Milne said.


Chief Executive Andrew West said the survival of GNS depended on continued strong growth in commercial revenue, which grew by 12 percent in 1999/2000. Currently 70 percent of GNS’ funding comes from contracts with government science organisations, and the remaining 30 percent from research and consultancy contracts with the commercial sector.


Dr West said some of GNS’ major achievements during the 1999/2000 year included:

  • Completion of a new probabilistic model for earthquake hazard in New Zealand that has led to a major reassessment of risk in most regions.
  • Development of a computer model showing rupture processes associated with a magnitude 7 earthquake on the Wellington fault, and subsequent propagation of seismic waves in three dimensions throughout the Wellington region, enabling more comprehensive planning for a major earthquake in the capital.
  • Improvement of the understanding of New Zealand’s deep-water, frontier sedimentary basins, which has helped stimulate new exploration by international oil companies.
  • Identification of a uniquely high level of submarine volcanism, and associated presence of economically valuable minerals, in the Kermadec arc northeast of New Zealand.
  • Development of a sophisticated non-invasive scanning technology to measure wool yield and the level of contamination in New Zealand merino fleeces, which is helping to enhance the reputation of New Zealand merino as the world’s best.
  • Development of an air pollution fingerprinting technique using elemental analysis of air particulates by ion beam technology, which is helping local authorities monitor air pollution.