Benchmark posts continued losses

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UK-based firm also raised GBP 42m to fund “scale-up of CleanTreat necessary for the commercialisation of the Company’s new sea lice treatment BMK08”.

Benchmark, the aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business, announced its unaudited results for the three months ended 31 December 2019.

Net debt has grown from GBP 65.7 to GBP 91.3 million pounds in 12 months. Group revenues from continuing operations were 15.5 per cent below the prior year and Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations a loss of GBP 2 million.

The company wrote that it was accelerating its restructuring and cost-savings plan to offset the continuing impact from adverse shrimp markets and overall the “company expects to deliver on expectations for the full year”.

As well as completing the sale of its conferences business and small non-core nutrition business it closed its marketing services business.

Furthermore, Benchmark raised GBP 42m net proceeds through a placing and open offer with existing and new shareholders to fund the scale-up of CleanTreat necessary for the commercialisation of the Company’s new sea lice treatment BMK08 and for working capital purposes.

Benchmark Holdings chairman, Peter George. PHOTO: Benchmark

Executive Chairman Peter George wrote that weak nutrition markets affected its genetics arm: “As expected, our first quarter saw a continuation of the trends reported at year-end, with weak shrimp and Mediterranean seabass/bream markets affecting Advanced Nutrition and outweighing a good performance in Genetics.

“So far the impact from coronavirus has been minimal but we remain cautious given our exposure to the Asian end markets.”

“The submission of our regulatory dossier for BMK08, our novel sea lice treatment is a significant milestone. Following the recent fundraise we are in a strong financial position to prepare for the commercial launch.”

“We remain on track to complete our planned disposals in 2020 and are accelerating our restructuring and cost-savings programme which will help us offset the ongoing adverse conditions in Advanced Nutrition and deliver on expectations for the full year.”