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XRF Scientific announces record full-year result

Analytical laboratory instrument manufacturer XRF Scientific has announced its results for the June 2023 full-year, with sales revenue up 38 per cent to $55.2 million, net profit after tax up 26 per cent to $7.7 million, and the company paying a final fully-franked dividend of 3.3 cents per share. The company described its consumables division as having had a strong year, generating a profit before tax of $5.2 million, and the mining sector as remaining the key driver of activity. Managing Director Vance Stazzonelli said, “FY23 was a positive year, with all divisions contributing to the results and achieving a record profit.” Its capital equipment division was also called a “standout performer”, delivering a profit before tax of $3.4 million compared to $1.1 million in the previous year. XRF serves customers in mines, construction material companies and commercial analytical laboratories.

Australian government seeks to understand RNA’s potential

The federal government released a department of industry discussion paper on Australia’s RNA (or RiboNucleic Acid) technology industry on Monday, titled Understanding our RNA potential. According to a statement from industry minister Ed Husic, the paper and stakeholder survey will help the department better understand the opportunities for growth and gain a clearer understanding of the technologies currently under development across the country. It also outlines challenges Australia faces in developing an RNA industry. “Australia could be a global producer of new RNA vaccine treatments for conditions ranging from COVID-19 to cardiovascular disease and influenza in humans, as well as vaccines for animal illnesses,” said Husic. The federal and Victorian governments have signed a ten-year strategic partnership with mRNA specialist Moderna, with onshore production to take place at a site in Monash University’s innovation precinct. Consultation is open until October 16, with the discussion paper accessible here.

Universal Biosensors books $4.5 million R&D rebate

Biosensor technology company Universal Biosensors has announced the receipt of $4,495,137 in cash
as an R&D Tax Incentive rebate for the 2022 financial year. The ASX-listed company said on Monday that the amount was “in line with expectations” and added that it had a cash balance is $18.1 million. The Australian government’s R&D Tax Incentive was developed to assist eligible businesses recover some of the costs of undertaking research and development, and offers cash refunds for 43.5 per cent of eligible expenditure.

FWPA launches “The Ultimate Renewable” campaign 

Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) launched its “The Ultimate Renewable” campaign in late-July and is rolling this out over the country this week, seeking to challenge what it says are “the current consumer perceptions of forestry” and showing harvested and then replanted trees. The campaign will run across free to air television, streaming video, out of home, radio, and social media, and is once again presented by ambassador and television presenter Adam Dovile. While last year’s message focussed primarily on wood as a building material, “the new campaign extends the communication from seedlings to final product and promotes the transgenerational benefits of wood” said the organisation. Sarah Downey, Head of Marketing and Communications, said, “people are naturally saddened when they see images of a newly harvested forest area, but what they don’t think about is the climate-change-tackling carbon stored in the wood that’s been removed from the atmosphere by growing trees and the replanting of the trees for future generations.”

Imugene appoints cell therapy specialist as COO

Clinical stage immuno-oncology company Imugene has announced the appointment of Dr Bradley Glover as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer. According to a statement from the ASX-listed company on Monday, Glover brings a wealth of experience to the role via with a career spanning sectors such as cell therapy, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, venture capital, finance, research and development, and education. Prior to joining Imugene, Glover was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Celularity, “playing a pivotal role in strategic planning, business development, and technical operations.” He holds a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics from the University of Colorado and an MBA in Marketing & Finance from the Rady School of Management, University of California San Diego. Imugene MD and CEO Leslie Chong said: “Dr Glover’s profound industry knowledge and experience positions him well within our world-class team.”

Victorian government announces agreement on Loy Yang transition

Victorian minister for energy Lily D’Ambrosio announced a Structured Transition Agreement with AGL regarding the Loy Yong A power plant closure in 2035, which the state government says “will ensure a firm 12-year notice period for the workforce, community and energy market”. According to D’Ambrosio, the Latrobe Valley community is already undergoing transition within the energy sector workforce, and the transition package will be “over and above existing obligations”, assist AGL “to help retrain, reskill and find new work opportunities for their staff close to home.” AGL has also agreed to provide a $50 million Community and Economic Development Fund to help repurpose the Loy Yang A site.

SMC gets new ANZ MD

Automation and pneumatics vendor SMC Corporation Australia New Zealand has announced Simon McDonald‘s appointment as its new Managing Director. “Simon is no stranger to the industry and has been with SMC for five-plus years, previously in the position of CFO, and more recently as acting Managing Director,” the company announced on Linkedin on Monday. “We wish Simon every success and are excited to grow the business and exceed our customers’ expectations under his new management.” (SMC was a sponsor of @AuManufacturing‘s Australia’s 50 most innovative manufacturers, which concluded in July.)

Picture: credit XRF Scientific

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