A rewarding year for Scion

8 October 2012

Crown Research Institute Scion completed a successful first full year under the Crown Research Institute (CRI) Taskforce reforms.

Scion Chairman Tony Nowell says the reforms have made a positive difference to long-term planning, technology development and alignment of investment with the New Zealand forest industry.

“I am particularly pleased with the new technologies and information released to the industry over the past 12 months. These will help to improve productivity and environmental performance, and establish new markets. They reflect the full spectrum of the targets set in Scion’s science and innovation plan,” said Mr Nowell.

Research and technology highlights from the year included partnership with Rotorua District Council to successfully commission a pilot-scale plant to treat municipal organic waste that has also led to wider opportunities to commercialise the protected TERAX™ technology; proving a new wood treatment technology that will enable radiata pine to replace tropical hardwoods; supporting the implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme with the development of carbon calculators; and releasing new support tools for rural fire prevention and management, such as a new Smartphone application that predicts fire behaviour.

Another highlight is the progress made by international license partner Sonae Indústria in accelerating product development for Scion’s new wood plastic pellet technology, with the first royalty income expected within the next few months.

Scion’s financial results are solid also. In the year ending 30 June 2012, Scion posted a net profit after tax of $1.5 million, which exceeded budget.

“Revenue this year grew 1.6% to $44.1 million, which is an excellent result in these tight times,” Mr Nowell stated. “While we did not meet our budgeted revenue, we did achieve growth, especially in the commercial area, and we have met our budgeted profitability returns.”

Scion Chief Executive Warren Parker says Scion has continued the favourable return on equity and margins seen over recent years. This year Scion realised a pre- and post-reinvestment return on equity of 8% and 6% respectively (compared with 8% and 4.9% budgeted).

“In the context of the subdued economic recovery, the year’s financial results are very pleasing, and coupled with our science and technology performance, we have much to be proud of. In addition, we made significant investment in our facilities infrastructure, including $5.6 million on refurbishing laboratories, which will be officially opened in a few weeks,” said Dr Parker.

“I look forward to even better results this year as our focus on aligning ourselves with industry and understanding its needs starts to pay off. I can confidently say that Scion is now well-integrated with the New Zealand forestry industry and our priorities and targets for research and development are closely aligned to industry plans, such as the Wood Council’s Strategic Action Plan,” continued Dr Parker.

Scion’s complete Annual Report can be downloaded from the company’s website at www.scionresearch.com/publications/annualreports