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Briefcase: Business snippets from around SA

In this week’s briefcase, SILK Laser Clinics post a profit, Mighty Kingdom releases its first console game and Australian Space Park secures funding to begin building in Adelaide.

SILK Laser Clinics post $4 million half-year profit

Adelaide-based national beauty therapy chain SILK Laser Clinics has posted a statutory net profit after tax of $4.09 million for the six months to the end of the 2021 calendar year.

The listed company, which now has 119 clinics in Australia and New Zealand following the acquisition of Australian Skin Clinics Group in August last year, generated $40.47 million in total revenue for the half, up from $30.58 million the previous year.

However, the net profit fell by 15 per cent from $4.8 million in the six months to December 2020, a period when the company received $1.95 million in JobKeeper payments and other government stimulus benefits.

SILK Laser co-founder and managing director Martin Perelman said the company’s growth strategy had rapidly progressed in the first half of the 2022 financial year.

“Despite our busiest period operationally, we have been able to maintain excellent customer service levels, increasing treatment numbers, average customer spend and like-for-like sales,” he said.

“The business continues to perform strongly during challenging trading conditions with COVID and rolling lockdowns, showing the underlying strength of the entire SILK group.”

SILK was founded in Adelaide in 2009 and offers laser hair removal, cosmetic injectables, skin treatments, body contouring and skin care products.

The company has a market capitalization of about $185 million and a share price on Friday of $3.47.

It was ranked No. 41 in InDaily’s 2021 South Australian Business Index of the state’s top 100 companies, up from 56 the year before.

Mighty Kingdom’s inaugural console game released

Mighty Kingdom has officially released its first console title, “Conan Chop Chop”, to market, with the game priced at less than $30 on PlayStation and Xbox.

The Adelaide independent game developer launched the long-awaited – and long-delayed – “rogue-lite party game” to the world on March 1, marking its first venture into the world of console gaming after years of focusing on the mobile platform.

The game, produced in partnership with Norwegian developers Funcom, is also available on PC ($21.99) and Nintendo Switch ($27.99).

Mighty Kingdom is talking up the initial reception for the title, saying a live stream of the game at the “Steam Next Fest” ranking number two in Australia.

“Our team set out to create a vision of Conan unlike any before it,” Mighty Kingdom creative lead Kimbo Forrest said.

“With the chaos turned to 11, we’ve condensed the brawny, ferocious spirit of the barbarian we all know and love into this shiny, party-sized Conan.”

Mighty Kingdom last month also reported an increase in revenue to $2.15 million for the half-year ended December 2021. That is up from $1.51 million the year before, although it reported a total comprehensive loss of nearly $5.2 million for the same period which was up more than $3.4 million from the previous half-year.

More Transition to Work contracts flow to SA firms

South Australian job training provider Jobs Statewide has won a series of Federal Government contracts to provide its services in Adelaide and Melbourne.

The Adelaide-based youth employment organization – which currently has 12 offices across Adelaide and four in New South Wales – says it will now establish four additional offices in inner-metropolitan Melbourne.

Jobs Statewide also said the three Transition to Work contracts will help it employ an additional 45 staff to work in the new Victorian offices, which will be located in Box Hill, Cheltenham, Melbourne and Prahran.

The contract in South Australia sees an extension of the provider’s offices in the Adelaide North (Elizabeth, Gawler and Woodville) and Adelaide South regions (Adelaide, Mount Barker, Noarlunga, Norwood, Oaklands Park, Victor Harbor).

CEO Wendy-Jayne Williams touted the new contracts as a “game changer” for the firm.

“Youth unemployment in these regions remains higher than general unemployment but the COVID recovery will see an increased demand for a skilled, job-ready workforce across a range of industries,” she said.

It comes as fellow Adelaide job-training organization Workskil Australia was awarded a number of Transition to Work contracts last month and announced a staff expansion of 70.

Wokskil will deliver the program from July 1 across 14 sites in Western Australia, New South Wales and South Australia over the coming five years.

Mining and energy innovators recognized

Six South Australian companies have been included in a list of 30 of the hottest Australian innovators in the mining, energy and resources industries in Australia.

Hosted by Core Innovation Hub, the Hot 30 showcases the next generation of businesses that are developing technology and shaping the future of their industries through innovation.

Announced in Adelaide on Thursday night, the HOT 30 have included six category winners for the first time.

Western Australian firms dominated the list, filling 15 of the 30 places.

The successful SA firms were Envirocopper, Howler (Wheel Alert), NGMX, Predict and Zero Automotive.

Listed company 1414 Degrees was presented with the SA Innovation Award for its SiBox thermal energy storage technology, which harnesses the extremely high latent heat capacity of silicon to enable intermittent renewables to provide flexible, ultra-high temperature heat.

The flexible, scalable and sustainable technology provides a potential solution to large industrial systems that use high temperature heat and power will one day be able to run on clean, renewable energy.

Fed Govt kicks in $20m for Adelaide Space Park

The Federal Government has committed the final $20 million in funding towards the $66 million Australian Space Park to be built at Adelaide Airport.

The project, aimed at boosting the state’s space manufacturing capabilities by co-locating four local space companies, had already received $20 million in State Government funds along with investment from Fleet Space Technologies, Q-CTRL, ATSpace and Alauda Aeronautics.

First announced in December 2021, the Space Park is expected to create 221 jobs and 1000 indirect jobs, according to the State Government.

Minister for Trade and Investment Stephen Patterson said the center would boost the competitiveness of South Australia’s space startups.

“The funding from the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative galvanises the opportunity to construct a common user facility within the Australian Space Park capable of small constellation manufacture and enhanced manufacturing capability,” Patterson said.

“The Australian Space Park will accelerate Australia’s sovereign space manufacturing capability, support the national aim to triple space’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product to $12 billion by 2030, create hundreds of highly skilled jobs of the future in South Australia.”

Construction on the project is due to begin in 2023.

Professional study grant scheme opens

South Australia’s Industry Leaders Fund has opened its 2022 study grant scheme, inviting high-achieving business leaders and aspiring executives to apply for up to $50,000 each to develop their professional potential.

Now in its 13th year, the ILF program has awarded 237 grants totaling $2.86 million and adds a new Seeley International Imagineering Award this year, to be given to the scholar with an innovative engineering approach to manufacturing business in their career to date.

It joins the David B McNeil Award which boosts the base grant for the scholar attending the University of Adelaide’s Transformative Leadership Program in any year who also shows the most potential to contribute to employment and wealth generation in South Australia and the Colin J Peters Memorial Award, started in 2020, for the most outstanding scholar.

Easing COVID restrictions will allow international travel for up to 60 scholars who have delayed their study since 2019 to institutions like Harvard Business School, INSEAD Singapore, Oxford’s Said Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and MIT.

ILF chief executive Geoff Vogt says the job creation cost of $700 per position compares favorably with worldwide benchmarks and the $2500-a-year spent by the State’s Job Accelerator Grant Scheme.

“It shows that we are an effective scheme, wholly funded by private enterprise, which supports innovative industry leaders to grow their business, nationally and globally, as well as their workforce,” he said.

“I’m excited by the Fund’s achievements to date including the ongoing insight and collaboration returning scholars share through the ILF Scholars Network to maximize industry contribution to the SA economy.”

Applicants should visit the Industry Leaders Fund website for eligibility criteria before applications close on Tuesday, May 31.

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