Salmon eggs and lice treatments boost revenue for Benchmark
Aquaculture biotechnology business Benchmark Holdings has reported improved revenue and operating profit for the second quarter and first half of its 2023 financial year, which runs from October 2022.
Higher sales of salmon eggs produced in Norway and Iceland and continuing adoption of the company’s Ectosan Vet / CleanTreat lice removal package in Norway helped boost earnings.
In Q2 FY23, revenue increased by 13% to £44m (Q2 FY22: £39.2m) and adjusted EBITDA rose to £11.1m (£8.4m).
Revenue for H1 FY23 grew by 25% to £98.9 million (H1 FY22: £79.2m) and adjusted EBITDA (a measure of operating profit) rose by 39% to £22.1m (£15.9m) in the period.
Higher revenues were reported across all three business areas with Genetics revenues increasing by 30% in H1 to £34.5m, Advanced Nutrition 8% to 45.3m, and Health, which includes Ectosan Vet / CleanTreat, by 78% to £19.1m.
Adjusted EBITDA in H1 was £6m (+5%) for Genetics, £11.5m (no change from H1 2022) for Advanced Nutrition, and £6.6m (+7,035%) for Health.
Overall pre-tax loss was £1.9m, an improvement compared to the £5.1m loss made in H1 2022.
“It is gratifying to note that we continue to grow and improve the results in the company,” said chief executive Trond Williksen in the company's report.
“More than 800 employees in 26 countries work systematically to develop and improve the business and make Benchmark an even more relevant supplier for farming companies worldwide.
“Within the Genetics business area, we have seen a significant increase in sales from our core business within salmon based on our well-positioned operations in Norway and Iceland. We have also finalised our investment program in Salten (Norway). That brings our global capacity up to 400 million salmon eggs annually: 150 million in Norway, 200 million in Iceland and 50 million in Chile.”
Eggs from Chile
In Chile, Benchmark has progressed in sales to utilise invested capacity, and the business has achieved “disease free compartment” status. This strengthens the company’s attractiveness in this market and will potentially open up exports from Chile to other markets, said Williksen.
In the Advanced Nutrition business, which is aimed at the global shrimp industry, Benchmark works purposefully to optimise the genetics for various environmental and production conditions in selected markets.
“The Advanced Nutrition business area has had a good first half of the year despite significant headwinds in a demanding shrimp market which makes up more than 70% of the market for our specialised nutritional solutions. The operational performance reflects a strong and well-run organisation that is well positioned to continue progress when the global shrimp market normalises again,” said Williksen.
The Health business area continues its progression with increased uptake of the company’s medicinal solutions for the treatment of salmon lice in a period with seasonally lower demand.
“Sales of both of our medicinal solutions (Ectosan (imidacloprid) and Salmosan (azamethiphos)) are up significantly compared to the same period a year ago. We are also continuing our work to make the cleaning system CleanTreat less capital-intensive and less expensive to use for our customers, and we are making good progress in the development of integrated solutions in wellboats,” said Williksen.