Aquaculture biotechnology specialist Benchmark reported a 27% improvement in revenue in its full-year results on Wednesday, to £158.3m.
The AIM-traded firm described an “excellent performance” in advanced nutrition as it continued to capitalise on renewed commercial focus and recovery in the shrimp markets post-pandemic; with revenues there rising 14%.
In genetics, it reported a “strong” performance, benefitting from high demand for its salmon eggs delivered from its new incubation centre in Iceland, as divisional revenue grew 24%.
The health unit meanwhile reported on its first full year of sales from its sea lice solution ‘Ectosan Vet’ and ‘CleanTreat’, resulting in revenue growth of 157%.
Adjusted EBITDA was 60% higher year-on-year for the 12 months ended 30 September at £31.2m, driven by growth in its three business areas, and “continued” financial discipline.
Benchmark said its adjusted EBITDA margin expanded to 20% from 16%, while the adjusted EBITDA margin excluding the fair value uplift from biological assets increased to 19% from 13%.
The company’s loss for the period expanded, however, to £30.5m from £11.6m, as a result of increased depreciation associated with CleanTreat units, and higher net finance expenses.
It said it made “disciplined investment” in growth areas in the year, with tangible capital expenditure totalling £10.8m.
The firm refinanced its NOK 850m bond, and since the period ended, it also refinanced its $15m revolving credit facility.
Year-end cash and cash equivalents totalled £36.4m with available liquidity of £45.8m, while on 28 November, cash and cash equivalents were £35m with available liquidity standing at £51m.
“In the 2022 financial year, Benchmark delivered another year of growth and strategic progress, underpinned by four quarters of consistently improved financial results,” said chief executive officer Trond Williksen.
“This demonstrates the success of our restructuring and culture change, the quality and potential of our business and the talent and commitment of our people, as well as the underlying strength of our markets.”
Williksen said the company’s strategic and commercial focus contributed to the “strong” results.
“Going into the new financial year, there is good momentum in line with our expectations and positive dynamics in our industry creating significant opportunities to deliver value for all our stakeholders.”
At 1007 GMT, shares in Benchmark Holdings were up 2.67% at 38.5p.