AquaBounty's new salmon farm in Pioneer, Ohio. Work on the site has been paused since June 2023.

Losses increased by 24% for AquaBounty last year

GM salmon farmer’s annual deficit rose to $27.56m


Land-based salmon farmer AquaBounty lost more money in the fourth quarter of 2023 and in the full year than it did for the same periods in 2022, it revealed today.

Revenue for Q4 increased to $553,000, which was 23% more than the $451,000 made in Q4 2022, but product revenue for the full year fell by 21% to $2.47m compared to $3.14m in 2022.

Net loss in Q4 2023 was up significantly at $8.42m (Q4 2022: $6.07m) and the net loss for 2023 was $27.56m (2022: $22.16m).

AquaBounty, which produces salmon that grow more quickly because of an inherited genetic modification, paused construction of its 10,000-tonnes-per-year farm in Pioneer, Ohio, in June, due to a significant increase in the expected cost. It is pursuing new sources of financing to cover the cost increase.

And in February this year it announced that it had decided to sell its Indiana farm to increase liquidity.

Financial and operational challenges

“Our financial results for 2023 are indicative of the financial and operational challenges that we encountered during the year,” said chief executive and chairwoman Sylvia Wulf in a press release.

“We began the year with a limited ability to harvest at our Indiana farm, as needed repairs were performed on our processing building. By the time the facility was fully back in operation in early May, the market price for Atlantic salmon had begun to fall. This continued through the second and third quarters and only partially recovered during the holiday season in the fourth quarter. The result was a decline in year-over-year revenue, even though our total production output increased by 14%.

Sylvia Wulf: The CEO has been exploring a range of financing alternatives for AquaBounty.

“Our net loss for 2023 increased over the prior year, primarily due to sharp increases in spending for state excise taxes, legal fees, and outside consulting, the latter two driven by our fundraising efforts. We also were impacted by another significant increase in the cost estimate for our Ohio farm, which forced us to pause both our construction activities and our municipal bond financing transaction in June.

Financing alternatives

“Faced with these challenges, we began exploring a range of financing alternatives to strengthen our balance sheet and increase our cash runway. We announced in February 2024 that we had made the decision to sell our Indiana farm operation in order to increase our cash position and to decrease our on-going cash burn. Additionally, we engaged Berenson & Company as our investment bank to advise on debt financing secured by our unencumbered assets and on additional funding alternatives that are necessary to resume and complete construction of our Ohio farm and pursue our longer-term growth strategy.

“Operations at our Prince Edward Island farm (in Canada) continue to expand with the installation of additional egg incubation capacity, which will allow us to increase the availability of non-transgenic Atlantic salmon eggs and fry for sale to salmon farmers. Furthermore, our R&D team continues to make advances in genetics, breeding, fish health and nutrition. We have a fully engaged and committed management team that is focused on dealing with our challenges and taking the necessary steps to support our future growth.”

AquaBounty’s cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and restricted cash totalled $9.2m as of December 31, 2023, as compared to $102.6m on December 31, 2022.