Benchmark Holdings remains resilient in the face of challenges

Despite reporting a £4 million operating loss in Q3, the top team at Benchmark Holdings has not been deterred, as the company looks to turn a new corner within the next financial year.

Septima Maguire, CFO of Benchmark Holdings, claimed the company is looking to be in the positive in the financial 2024.

“I think anything that was within our control, we have been trying to move the dials to become profitable. It’s one of our very strongly stated objectives – to become profitable.”

Aquaculture stays strong
Despite industries being affected by a spate of global disruptions, including the Covid pandemic and supply chain challenges in recent months, Benchmark CEO Trond Williksen believes that the aquaculture sector has “stayed quite resilient.”

“If you look at the salmon sector, it’s doing well. We’ve got high salmon prices at the moment and, based on what the salmon companies say, there is no sign of that tampering off really,” Williksen stated.

The only area where Williksen feared there could be some financial pressure is the inflationary situation that companies across the sector, with labour costs being a particular area to watch. However, Williksen and Maguire were swift to highlight that, as the company is based across 26 countries, with each nation experiencing different challenges.

“If you consider the countries in which the majority of our workforce are located… those countries are experiencing a vast array of inflation increases. I would not look to the UK’s inflation levels as the levels of inflation which exists within all our territories,” Maguire said.

Post-restructuring results speak for themselves
Maguire was keen to highlight how, since the company sought to restructure itself, it has managed to secure five consecutive quarters of growth.

“More fundamentally, by refining what the company does to be purely aquaculture, we’ve been able to be more focused on the business areas the we have and, ultimately, less distracted,” Maguire said.

Looking toward the company’s balance sheet, Maguire highlighted how the company’s restructuring has bolstered the financial situation, allowing it to “create those more focused business areas and ultimately move towards commercialisation.”

“Restructuring was a necessary tool to create more focused and a stronger business.”

Stock exchange aims
Benchmark Holdings is looking to be listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange by the later half of this year in the hope of creating “positive momentum”. Maguire revealed the reason for picking Oslo for its listing was due to how that stock exchange has a “whole aquaculture ecosystem with the investors very much focused on aquaculture investments.”

The Benchmark CFO hopes that the company will benefit from the forum of “well informed investors” that they believe Oslo will provide.

“We would not be doing it if we did not do so with a lens that it would create more forward momentum for the company and ultimately for the valuation and share price of the company,” Maguire added.




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