Coronavirus Update

Benchmark Holdings Plc - Full Year Results for the Financial Year Ended 30 September 2019

The Company also announces that Septima Maguire is assuming the role of CFO effective today.












Adjusted EBITDA2 from continuing operations




Total Adjusted EBITDA2 - incl. discontinued operations




Adjusted Operating Profit3 from continuing operations








Revenue from continuing operations




Loss before tax from continuing operations




Loss/profit for the period from continuing operations




Loss for the period - total incl. discontinued operations




Basic loss per share (p)




Net debt4




* 2018 numbers have been restated to reflect the ongoing continuing business.  Knowledge Services Division and the veterinary services business within the Animal Health Division have been moved to discontinued operations in line with IFRS 5.


Financial Overview


As announced in the Company's Trading Update of 29 November 2019, the Group has accelerated the disposal and discontinuation of non-core activities. These activities have been excluded from Continuing Operations.

·    Revenues from Continuing Operations of £127.3m, 3% below prior year (2018: £131.6m)

·    Total revenues including Continuing and Discontinued Operations of £148.7m, down 2% (2018: £151.5m) 

·    Adjusted EBITDA2 from Continuing Operations of £12.1m (2018: £19.1m)

·    Total Adjusted EBITDA2 including Continuing and Discontinued Operations of £13.7m (2018: £17.0m)

·    Total R&D investment of £20.5m (2018: £19.2m) driven by products close to launch and investment in Genetics and Advanced Nutrition to maintain leadership in our core markets

·    Net debt4 at period end of £87.1m (2018: £55.7m) as a result of investment in R&D and an increase in working capital including that related to growth in biological assets in the new production facilities

·    Year end Liquidity5 was £28.2m, well within the covenant threshold

·    Loss for the period from continuing operations of £73.3m driven by an impairment of intangible assets related to INVE of £44.8m as a result of a reduction in forecasts in Advanced Nutrition due to material change in market outlook.


Current trading:

·    Weakness in the shrimp and sea bass/bream markets continues and while some recovery is expected it is unlikely to recover to 2018 levels in 2020. The outlook in the salmon market remains positive

·    Overall the Company expects to deliver underlying Adjusted EBITDA from Continuing Operations (before one-off other income) in line with this year in FY2020 and to maintain sufficient liquidity to execute its product development programme and support its Continuing Operations after taking account of the expected timing and proceeds from the planned disposals and cost reductions


(1) EBITDA is earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and impairment.

(2) Adjusted EBITDA is EBITDA1, before exceptional items and acquisition related expenditure.

(3) Adjusted Operating Profit is operating loss before exceptional items including acquisition related items and amortisation of intangible assets excluding development costs

(4) Net debt is cash and cash equivalents less loans and borrowings.

(5) Liquidity is defined as undrawn facilities plus cash balances.

(6) Constant Currency reflects 2019 figures in GBP converted using average foreign exchange rates prevalent in 2018


Peter George, Executive Chairman commented:


"Following these disappointing results, and the management changes announced in August, our priorities for the coming year are to deliver the programme of disposals and restructuring, to obtain regulatory approval and prepare for launch of BMK08 and CleanTreatÒ and to execute our strategy in our core business areas of Genetics and Advanced Nutrition, including the launch of SPR shrimp and the expansion of our health and specialist diets segments in Advanced Nutrition.


"There is a growing need in the market for solutions that improve the sustainability of food production in aquaculture. Benchmark's focus on delivering products and solutions that improve animal health and welfare, and that reduce environmental impact, positions it as a leader in raising the sustainability standards in aquaculture."


Operational Highlights


Progress towards commercial launch of major products

·    Next generation sea lice treatment (product candidate BMK08) continued to show c.99% efficacy and excellent environmental and animal welfare credentials. In combination with CleanTreat®, BMK08 is potentially transformative, addressing one of the largest industry challenges.  

·    Production of specific pathogen resistant (SPR) shrimp commenced in Florida for export into Asia. Establishment of associate in Thailand for local multiplication and distribution.

Growth in core markets

·    Opening of state of the art, land-based salmon egg facility in Norway. Ramp-up of production according to plan

·    Establishment of wholly owned local production in Chile following dissolution of JV with AquaChile. Recovery of original investment which will be reinvested in the Chilean operation

·    Increased capacity at nutrition production plant in Thailand to meet growing long term demand for the Company's specialist diets

Continued Innovation

·    Winner of Aquaculture Innovation Award for CleanTreat®, the Company's breakthrough purification system which removes medicinal residues from bath treatments

·    Launch of a new Artemia product (D-FENSE) which reduces the risk of infection from vibrio, one of the main industry challenges affecting shrimp and seabass/seabream