Benchmark has ordered a third CleanTreat system for use with its Ectosan Vet lice medicine. Photo: Benchmark.

Benchmark orders third CleanTreat unit

Aquaculture biotechnology company Benchmark Holdings has ordered a third CleanTreat filtration system for use with its novel lice treatment Ectosan Vet.

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CleanTreat removes medicine residues and debris such as lice egg strings from wellboat bath treatment water containing Ectosan Vet, which uses the neonicotinoid imidacloprid as its active ingredient.

Benchmark began offering the Ectosan Vet / CleanTreat combination to salmon farmers in Norway in August last year. Sales of the service lifted revenues in Health division by 347% to £5.8 million in the first quarter of the company’s 2022 financial year – which runs from October 2021.

‘Efficacy above 99%’

“We have two CleanTreat systems in operation and treatments continue to show excellent results with efficacy above 99% and good operational efficiency,” Benchmark said in its unaudited Q1 2022 report.

“Delivery of treatments post period end slowed down as anticipated due to seasonal adverse weather conditions. Post period end we have placed an order for our third CleanTreat system, and we are working closely with customers to optimise the future configuration of the system.

“We are making progress in the trials to obtain extension of Marketing Authorisation for Ectosan Vet and CleanTreat in Norway is continuing as planned. In the period, the patent for Ectosan Vet was approved and granted giving 20-year protection.”

Ectosan Vet was developed by Benchmark in Scotland but is currently only authorised for use in Norway. Benchmark has said it will apply for authorisation in other countries in due course.

Trond Williksen: Group well positioned to reach profitability.

£1.46m operating loss

Benchmark’s overall revenue in Q1 2022 increased by 38% year on year to £40m (£29m), with revenue in its Advanced Nutrition division up by 26% to £19.1m and revenue in the Genetics division increasing by 20% to £15.2m.

Operating loss halved to £1.46m, however net loss increased due to negative £4.9m non-cash movement in net finance costs.

‘Building momentum’

“Benchmark has delivered an excellent Q1 performance, reporting a 38% annual growth in revenue and 145% increase in Adjusted EBITDA,” said chief executive Trond Williksen. “This reflects an excellent performance in Advanced Nutrition, continued good performance in Genetics and the benefit of revenues from the recently launched Ectosan Vet and CleanTreat in our Health business area.

“We are performing in line with market expectations for the full year, with building momentum in our commercial, operating and financial performance in all business areas. The positive market environment in our core species, our leading market positions, together with our focused strategy and financial discipline positions the Group well to reach profitability and deliver growth.”