SIT ends year $2m above budget

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 20/02/2013

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The Southern Institute of Technology ended last year with a surplus more than $2 million above budget.

A report by chief financial officer Bharat Guha shows the polytechnic finished December 2012 with a $3.4m surplus, more than double the budgeted surplus of $1.2m.

The difference between the budgeted figure and the final surplus was largely because of $1.3m of government funding awarded under the Skills for Canterbury scheme, Mr Guha said.

Announced in the 2011 Budget, Skills for Canterbury is an initiative aimed at helping polytechnics train more trade workers to meet heightened demand for labour during the Christchurch rebuild.

Mr Guha had been initially unsure if SIT would be granted the funding, and so had planned for the year without the money, he said.

"When we did our budget, we were just being very cautious."

The polytechnic had also underspent on personnel and operational expenses, which had contributed to the surplus, he said.

However, the report also shows the institute's actual cash reserve at December 31, 2012 was $2.3m less than at the same time in 2011.

SIT had $28.2m in cash reserves on December 31, 2012, compared with $30.5m in 2011. Actual working capital had also decreased, from $27.9m in 2011, to $25.5m in 2012.

Mr Guha said the drop was caused by increased spending on capital expenditure including land and buildings, furniture and fittings, motor vehicles and computer software.

In 2012, SIT had spent $9.5m on capital expenditure, compared with "about six or seven million" in 2011, he said.

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