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Benchmark Holdings Plc - Q1 Results

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Benchmark Holdings plc

("Benchmark", the "Company" or the "Group")

Q1 Results

(3 months ended 31 December 2019)

In compliance with the terms of Company's senior secured bond which requires it to publish quarterly financial information, Benchmark, the aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business, announces its unaudited results for the 3 months ended 31 December 2019 (the "period") All Q1FY20 and Q1FY19 figures quoted in this announcement are based on unaudited accounts.


Q1 2020

Q1 2019







Revenue from continuing operations




Adjusted EBITDA2 from continuing operations




Adjusted Operating Profit3 from continuing operations








EBITDA1 from continuing operations




Loss before tax from continuing operations




Loss for the period from continuing operations




Loss for the period - total incl. discontinued operations




Basic loss per share (p)




Net debt4




(1) EBITDA is earnings/(loss) 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, borrowings and lease obligations excluding balances held for sale (note 15)

* FY2019 numbers have been restated to reflect changes to the ongoing continuing business since the previous reporting date (note 5). Q1 2019 figures have not been previously reported and so are not restated.

Q1 Overview

Q1 results were impacted by continuing market weakness in Advanced Nutrition.  As a result, Group revenues from continuing operations were 15.5% below the prior year and Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations a loss of £2.0m. Positive performance and outlook in Genetics.

The Company is accelerating its restructuring and cost savings plan to offset the continuing impact from adverse shrimp markets and overall the Company expects to deliver on expectations for the full year.

The Company is monitoring the potential impact of the Coronavirus on its business. To date, the coronavirus has led to a suspension of shrimp imports to China, affecting shrimp producers principally in Ecuador and India. In addition, shrimp production in Vietnam and Thailand has decreased as a result of preventative measures constraining activities and consumption across Asian markets has declined. 

Post period end, the Company:

  • raised £42m net proceeds through a placing and open offer with existing and new shareholders to fund the scale up of CleanTreat® necessary for the commercialisation of the Company's new sea lice treatment BMK08 and for working capital purposes;
  • completed the sale of its conferences business, completed the sale of a small non-core nutrition business, and closed its marketing services business; and
  • submitted the regulatory dossier for BMK08.

Liquidity (defined as cash and undrawn facility) as at 27 February 2020 was c.£67m (31 December 2019: £24.8m).

Divisional overview

Advanced Nutrition reported a £4.5m reduction in revenues to £11.4m (Q1 2019: £15.9m) as a result of market weakness, the global oversupply of Artemia and stocking patterns in Q4 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of (£0.4m) (Q1 2019: £2.7m).

Genetics reported revenues of £12.1m, 2.5% ahead of the same period last year and Adjusted EBITDA of £3.5m, 9% ahead of the prior year (Q1 2019: £3.2m), with the increase in Adjusted EBITDA margin to 29% driven by production at the new Salten facility replacing previous outsourcing.

Revenues in Animal Health (including Discontinued Operations of veterinary and diagnostics) in Q4 were £3.4m (Q1 2019: £3.5m). Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of £4.0m (Q1 2019: loss of £3.5m).

Peter George, Executive Chairman, commented:

"As expected, our first quarter saw a continuation of the trends reported at year end, with weak shrimp and Mediterranean seabass/bream markets affecting Advanced Nutrition and outweighing a good performance in Genetics.

"So far the impact from coronavirus has been minimal but we remain cautious given our exposure to the Asian end markets. "

"The submission of our regulatory dossier for BMK08, our novel sea lice treatment is a significant milestone. Following the recent fundraise we are in a strong financial position to prepare for the commercial launch."

"We remain on track to complete our planned disposals in 2020 and are accelerating our restructuring and cost savings programme which will help us offset the ongoing adverse conditions in Advanced Nutrition and deliver on expectations for the full year."