For-sale Benchmark sees Q1 revenues fall 26%

Sheffield-based aquaculture biotechnology firm Benchmark Holdings said on Thursday its first-quarter revenues were £40.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2023, 26% below “a particularly strong Q1 FY23” but 11% above Q4 of FY23.

The terms of Benchmark’s unsecured green bond require it to publish quarterly financial information.

Benchmark Holdings said on January 22 its board decided to “undertake a formal review of the company’s strategic options including, but not limited to, a sale of the company as a whole or alternatively the potential sale of one or more individual business units …”

Benchmark said on January 22 the move was being undertaken to “establish whether there is a bidder or bidders prepared to offer a value for the company or its individual business units that the board considers attractive relative to the board’s view of intrinsic value.”

On Thursday, Benchmark reported cash of £24.2 million and liquidity of £36.4 million, and net debt excluding lease liabilities of £57.5 million.

Benchmark CEO Trond Williksen said: “We have had a busy quarter where we have maintained momentum in our two largest business areas and the Group is on track to meet management’s expectations for the year. 

“We have good visibility of revenues in Genetics, continuing good performance in Advanced Nutrition and have taken actions in Health to transition to a new business model for Ectosan Vet and CleanTreat which will increase its commercial attractiveness and strengthen our portfolio of sea lice solutions. 

“We have a busy year ahead and intend to stay focused to deliver continued progress towards our goals.

“Longer term, as a supplier of specialised mission critical solutions to aquaculture producers worldwide, Benchmark is uniquely positioned in an industry with significant structural growth trends with significant opportunities ahead.”