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Demand for sea lice-resistant eggs outstripped supply. Photo: SalmoBreed / Benchmark
Demand for sea lice-resistant eggs outstripped supply. Photo: SalmoBreed / Benchmark

Genetics, animal health and nutrition company Benchmark has pointed to demand for sea lice-resistant salmon eggs as one of the reasons for a 65% rise in earnings in its 2018 financial year.

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The UK-based company’s adjusted EBITDA was £16.5 million for the year ended September 30, 2018 (2017: £10m), on increased revenues of £156m (2017: £140.2m).

Earnings growth was also driven by sales of Benchmark’s premium specialist diets for shrimp and sea bass and sea bream. 

“Our investment in developing disease-resistant salmon eggs has translated into our continued market penetration and growth, with demand for our sea lice-resistant eggs outstripping supply,” the company said in a statement.

“Our recently-completed Salten facility (run by benchmark subsidiary SalmoBreed in Norway) is designed to address this demand and allow for further growth.”

Successful trials

Benchmark also reported reaching significant milestones towards the full commercial launch of Ectosan Cleantreat, its next generation sea lice treatment.

“We have now conducted 14 very successful trials in Norway with three of the world's leading salmon producers showing 100% efficacy and no environmental impact,” stated the company. “Sea lice continues to be the single largest recognised challenge in the salmon industry, and feedback from customers point to the potential for broad adoption of our solution.”

Chief executive Malcolm Pye said: “We performed well during the year. We have delivered revenue and profit growth, while undertaking significant strategic projects that have enhanced our position in our key markets and provide a strengthened platform for the future.

“This, together with the continued progress in our pipeline and corporate structure, leaves us well placed to address the significant opportunities in our markets, which have stronger drivers than ever before amid increasing recognition from consumers, producers and regulators of the need for sustainable aquaculture solutions.”

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