Benchmark maintains strong start to 2021

Published on
May 18, 2021

Stirling, U.K.-headquartered aquaculture biotechnology business Benchmark achieved higher revenues and percent earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization and impairment (adjusted EBITDA) of GBP 59.5 million (USD 84.5 million, EUR 69.2 million) and GBP 7.9 million (USD 11.2 million, EUR 9.2 million) for the six months ending on 31 March, 2021, citing a strong performance in its advanced nutrition division and solid trading in genetics and health.

Overall, the company posted a first-half operating loss of GBP 4.6 million (USD 6.5 million, EUR 5.3 million), compared with a loss of GBP 3.9 million (USD 5.5 million, EUR 4.5 million) in H1 2020.

With regards to its divisions, animal nutrition achieved revenues of GBP 35 million (USD 49.7 million, EUR 40.7 million) and an adjusted EBITDA of GBP 6.2 million (USD 8.8 million, EUR 7.2 million), up GBP 3.7 million (USD 5.3 million, EUR 4.3 million) and GBP 2.8 million (USD 4 million, EUR 3.3 million) year-on-year, respectively.

According to Benchmark’s interim results statement, this upturn reflected the success of an improved commercial effort and improvements in certain shrimp markets.

Meanwhile, its genetics division saw its revenue and adjusted EBITDA fall by GBP 400,000 (USD 567,782, EUR 464,858) and GBP 2.6 million (USD 3.7 million, EUR 3 million) to GBP 22.1 million (USD 31.4 million, EUR 25.7 million) and GBP 6 million (USD 8.5 million, EUR 7 million), respectively.

The animal health division’s revenues slipped by GBP 200,000 (USD 283,800, EUR 232,450) to GBP 2.3 million (USD 3.3 million, EUR 2.7 million), while its adjusted EBITDA improved by GBP 100,000 (USD 141,200, EUR 116,220) to a loss of GBP 2.6 million (USD 3.7 million, EUR 3 million). However, the company highlighted “significant progress” toward the commercialization of new sea lice treatment BMK08 and CleanTreat, with its first customer agreements signed.

Benchmark has performed well in the first half and has made good strategic progress across our three business areas. This reflects our successful restructuring and the new focus and discipline on delivering on our strategic priorities to create profitable growth,” Benchmark CEO Trond Williksen said. "Our financial discipline, including cost containment and strict cash management, enables us to invest selectively in our core business, strengthen our position in our markets and deliver on the growth opportunities ahead.”

Looking ahead, Benchmark expects the salmon market to remain stable with prices having recovered in recent months. It also believes that shrimp markets will continue to improve through the remainder of the year as restrictions ease in many territories, “although a high level of uncertainty remains, as currently seen in India.”

The sea bass and sea bream markets have also shown some recovery and are expected to remain stable for the rest of the year, it said. 

Its interim report also states that the company has had a positive start to the third-quarter, which supports a positive outlook for the year. It therefore expects to deliver results in line with management expectations for the full-year 2021.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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