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Duratec upgrades profit outlook

Construction, engineering and remediation contractor Duratec has upgraded its revenue and profit guidance for FY23. The Western Australian company now expects revenue to be between $465 million and $495 million, and normalised EBITDA to be between $36 million and $39 million. The company, which provides engineering services on a range of infrastructure, reported stronger performance than previously expected and strong growth from its Wilson Pipe Fabrication business. In FY22 Duratec reported revenue of $310 million and normalised EBITDA of $19.3 million.

CardieX subsidiary receives FDA approval for central blood pressure device

Health technology company CardieX’s ATCOR subsidiary has been granted US Food and Drug Administration approval for its CONNEQT Pulse vascular biometric monitor. The device is the first to incorporate ATCOR’s SphygmoCor central blood pressure technology not available in traditional blood pressure devices. Central blood pressure is pressure at the heart/aorta. Outputs enable clinicians and consumers gain a more comprehensive picture of cardiovascular health. The new device has substantial equivalence to CardieX’s flagship XCEL SphygmoCor device, but is targeted at different market segments.

Imugene receives $12.6 million R&D tax refund

Clinical stage immuno-oncology company Imugene has received its research and development (R&D) tax refund for the 2022 financial year, totalling $12.6 million. The refund is received as part of the Australian Government’s R&D tax incentive, which provides companies engaging in appropriate and eligible activities with a refundable tax offset of up to 43.5 percent. The refund received by Imugene will enable the further clinical development of its immuno-oncology pipeline. The company is developing a range of new and
novel immunotherapies that seek to activate the immune system of cancer patients to
treat and eradicate tumours.

Qld export awards launched for 2023

The 2023 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards has been officially launched, the state government announced on Wednesday. The annual awards honour exporters across 13 national categories and two state-based categories. Queensland national category winners represent the state at the national export awards in November. This year a First Nations category award will be presented for the first time. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk launched the awards in Bundaberg while visiting last year’s top winner, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. Applications opening on May 2. “One-in-five Qld jobs are linked to the export sector and our regions play a huge role with around 40 per cent of our more than 7000 exporting businesses based in regional Qld,” said Palaszczuk. “Queensland is well and truly out front when it comes to exports and these awards are an opportunity for the hard work, perseverance and achievements of entrants to be acknowledged and honoured.” Details on the awards can be found here.

Federal government, NRMA to build 117 EV charging sites

The federal government has announced that it is partnering with the NRMA to build 117 fast EV charging sites on national highways across the country, as part of the Driving the Nation fund, contributing $39.3 million dollars in funding “to better connect towns and cities and will ensure there is a fast charger approximately every 150km on national highways.” A national map of charging sites was unveiled on Wednesday, highlighting new sites to be delivered, including regional and remote areas in every state and territory. Energy minister Chris Bowen said: “EVs aren’t just for the cities, and Australians who drive long distances either for work or for holidays should be able to reap the benefits of cars that are cheaper and cleaner to run… This project will help close the gaps and known black spots in the network and make it possible to drive from Darwin to Perth, Broken Hill to Adelaide, and from Brisbane to Tennant Creek in the NT.”

First Algorithm run between diamond quantum computer and supercomputer at Pawsey

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth has run its first quantum algorithm on a room-temperature, diamond-based system from Quantum Brilliance, marking the first run of an algorithm from a supercomputer connected to an on-premise quantum computer. According to a statement from Quantum Brilliance on Wednesday, this took place on April 18, with the “Hello World” algorithm and further validated how hybrid quantum and classical computing models could integrate together on complex problems. It also validates the potential of using room-temperature quantum computers in real-world environments. The quantum computing company said the next set of runs will involve simple quantum chemistry and quantum machine learning simulations, expanding possibilities for researchers to explore the potential of quantum computing in various scientific and computational domains.

CPI up 1.4 per cent in March quarter: ABS

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its latest inflation data, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) up 1.4 per cent in the March 2023 quarter and 7.0 per cent annually. Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, said in a statement that, “CPI inflation slowed in the March quarter, with the quarterly rise being the lowest since December 2021. While prices continued to rise for most goods and services, many of these increases were smaller than they have been in recent quarters.” The most significant contributors to this quarter’s rise were medical and hospital services (+4.2 per cent), tertiary education (+9.7 per cent), gas and other household fuels (+14.3 per cent) and domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+4.7 per cent). Food prices (+1.6 per cent) continued to rise, driven by fruit and vegetables (+2.4 per cent) and snacks and confectionary (+4.1 per cent.)

Picture: Pawsey Supercomputing Centre (credit GHD Woodhead)

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