AquaBounty’s losses widen in Q1 due to planned sale of Indiana facility

The inside of AquaBounty's Indiana-based RAS facility
AquaBounty's Indiana facility will soon be sold, and the company incurred millions in non-cash impairments as it prepared for sale | Photo courtesy of AquaBounty Technologies
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AquaBounty Technologies saw its losses widen in Q1 2024 as it prepared its recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in the U.S. state of Indiana for sale. 

The company posted USD 11.2 million (EUR 10.3 million) in net losses in Q1 2024, up from the USD 6.5 million (EUR 6 million) net loss it posted in the same quarter of 2023. A significant portion of the higher loss was directly related to the sale of its Indiana facility, which the company announced it would sell in February 2024 in order to fund its planned Pioneer, Ohio, U.S.A.-based RAS facility.

AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf said in a release that the sale of the farm will allow the company to increase its cash position and decrease its ongoing cash burn. The company acquired the facility in 2017 and used it as a platform for developing, testing, and refining its RAS technology.

“All of these learnings have supported our continued progress as a farm operator, provided valuable insight for our operations on Prince Edward Island, and have been incorporated into the strategy and design of our Ohio farm,” Wulf said.

With the decision to sell, AquaBounty incurred a non-cash impairment charge of USD 4.3 million (EUR 3.9 million) “against the long-lived assets of the Indiana farm” and a non-cash charge of USD 1 million (EUR 924,000) to reduce the value of its inventory.

“Secondly, the sale announcement impacted our reported revenue for the current period, as we needed to accelerate the harvesting of all of the fish in the farm to prepare for the sale of the facility,” Wulf said. “Over the course of five weeks, our team harvested over 320 [metric tons] of fish, the majority of which were below our normal market harvest weight. With the farm now empty of fish, we completed the process in April to shut down and secure all of the internal systems so that they are ready for restart by a new owner.”

AquaBounty added that cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash totaled USD 3.6 million (EUR 3.3 million) as of 31 March 2024, compared to USD 9.2 million (EUR 8.5 million) on 31 December, 2023. The company’s revenue at its Prince Edward Island, Canada-based facility also grew slightly to USD 82,000 (EUR 75,000).

“With the completion of the installation of expanded egg incubation capacity, we secured a large order for conventional salmon eggs from one of the largest salmon production companies in the world,” Wulf said.

Wulf said the company continues to work with its investment banker on finding funding and strategic alternatives while moving forward with its projects. The company announced on 18 April that it executed a bridge loan agreement for up to USD 10 million (EUR 9.2 million), secured with the assets of the Indiana farm. So far, the company has received USD 5 million (EUR 4.6 million) of that agreement, it said.

“Our team remains fully committed to building the pathway forward for the future, and we are encouraged by our recent progress,” Wulf said. 

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