Benchmark’s restructuring is done – hoping for a profit in 2021

Aslak Berge

Out with the old.

The British fish health company has now completed a major restructuring. They have sold off anything that has not been defined as core business, and this has more than halved the net debt of the company. Benchmark has had a divergent fiscal year and has published its full-year audited results for the 12 months ended 30 September.

Restructuring and the effects of Covid-19 meant a slimmer top line in Q4 than the same quarter last year. It gave, even in this quarter, a deficit. It posted a loss of GBP 8.8 million, most of which came from operations that will not be included in the business anymore because of discontinued operations.

“2020 was characterised by the successful delivery of an ambitious and necessary restructuring programme, and by our response and resilience to the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Benchmark CEO Trond Williksen.

Benchmark Holdings, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, owns the breeding companies and ova suppliers SalmoBreed and Stofnfiskur, among others. Its largest owners are the Norwegian investment companies Kverva and Ferd.

Benchmark wrote in its Q4 reports that the salmon market has proved resilient, while the shrimp market continues to be demanding.

“Our results reflect a mixed performance across our business areas with a strong performance in Genetics offset by the effects of the restructuring programme and the impact of Covid-19, especially on the global shrimp markets,” said Williksen.

“Moving into FY21, our focus is on becoming profitable and cash generative. Following the restructuring, we are well-positioned in an exciting aquaculture industry, and we have significant potential to be realised in the years to come,” he added.


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