Benchmark shares hit as revenue falls 15% to £106m

Shares of Sheffield-based aquaculture biotech firm Benchmark Holdings fell about 5% on Friday after it published results for the year to September 30, 2020, showing revenue from continuing operations fell 15% to £105.6 million.

Statutory loss before tax from continuing operations for the year was £22.6 million, an improvement on the prior year’s restated loss of £58.5 million.

Benchmark chairman Peter George said: “2020 was a transformational year for Benchmark.

“With the restructuring complete, we now have a streamlined group focused on the three core aquaculture areas of genetics, advanced nutrition and health, each with substantial growth opportunities and long-term positive drivers which give us optimism for the future.

“Our focus remains on becoming a profitable cash generative group.

“Against a very challenging backdrop this year with Covid-19, I am proud of the Group’s resilience both operationally and financially and this reflects well on the commitment and contribution of Benchmark employees.”

Benchmark CEO Trond Williksen said: “2020 was characterised by the successful delivery of an ambitious and necessary restructuring programme, and by our response and resilience to the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our results reflect a mixed performance across our business areas with a strong performance in Genetics offset by the effects of the restructuring programme and the impact of Covid-19, especially on the global shrimp markets. 

“Moving into FY21, our focus is on becoming profitable and cash generative.

“Following the restructuring we are well-positioned in an exciting aquaculture industry, and we have significant potential to be realised in the years to come.”