Benchmark reports earnings rise

BENCHMARK, the aquaculture health business, has reported a 65 per cent growth in its annual earnings before tax (EBITDA), to £16.5 million.
In a trading update for the year ended September 30, 2018, the company recorded revenues above £150 million (2017: £140.2 million), a growth of seven per cent.
Underlying earnings were ahead of market expectations and delivery of strategic projects will drive future growth and profitability, said Benchmark in a press release.
It saw progress in all the key areas of its business, with demand for sea lice resistant salmon eggs outstripping supply.
The company’s new facility in Salten in Norway has boosted in-house capacity for egg production by 75 per cent, and in June it entered into a breeding and genetics joint venture with AquaChile.
Benchmark also said its new sea lice treatment, Ectosan Clean Treat, showed 100 per cent efficacy, with no environmental impact, after 14 trials with major salmon producers.
The company strengthened its board and management team and implemented a new operational structure during the year.
The outlook is positive, said Benchmark, with favourable conditions in core salmon and shrimp markets, and ‘an increasing trend towards professionalisation and consolidation amongst customers’.
‘This, combined with an increasing recognition of the role that our innovative products can play in boosting yield, quality and sustainability, provides us with confidence in the future outlook.’
Picture: Benchmark CEO Malcolm Pye