Positive profit warning as Genetics outperformed

Better than expected from Benchmark.

“Following strong Q3 results and a continued positive performance throughout FY22, the company ended the year strongly, delivering better than expected trading across its three business areas in Q4. As a result, and subject to audit, the company expects to report adjusted EBITDA in the range of £30m-£31m ahead of consensus market expectations of £27.7m,” Benchmark announced.

The UK fish health company will provide an update ahead of its full year results for the year ended 30 September 2022.

“Genetics ended the year above management expectations, benefitting from strong demand for our salmon eggs in Q4, which we were able to fulfil through our recent investment in a new bio-secure incubation centre in Iceland. Advanced Nutrition saw a continuation of the excellent performance throughout the year, delivering revenues ahead of plan across all product areas. In Health, revenues from Ectosan Vet and CleanTreat reflect increased activity and customer uptake as we move into the main sea lice treatment season. “

As previously announced the company successfully refinanced the outstanding NOK 850m (EUR 85m) secured bond through the issue of an unsecured NOK 750m (EUR 75m) green bond “despite very challenging market conditions”. However, against these positive trends and developments, heightened volatility in debt and currency markets have impacted financing costs including the currency revaluation of debt. In addition to this, we have one off costs associated with the redemption of the outstanding NOK 850 million bond, which amount to c. £2.5 million. Net debt excluding lease liabilities at 30 September was £47.5m and cash was £36.4m following the refinancing.

Benchmark has continued to progress towards a listing on Euronext Growth Oslo by the end of calendar year 2022. The company intends to uplist to the Oslo Børs, the leading seafood and aquaculture market globally, in H1 of 2023. The timing of both the listing on Euronext Growth Oslo and intended uplist to the Oslo Børs ace subject to market conditions.

“The company has had a good start to FY23, with trading over the first few weeks of the new financial year remaining strong across all three of our business areas. The Board is confident about the Group’s prospects for FY23 and beyond, delivering significant operational and financial progress and substantially improving our reported performance and cash generation.”

Trond Williksen, CEO, commented:

“We are pleased by the strong end to the year, which is a continuation of the consistent performance in the business over the last eight quarters. Looking ahead, we have had a good start to FY23 and the outlook for the business remains positive.”

“Benchmark is a well-positioned, diversified business able to take advantage of commercial opportunities in the main aquaculture species across the world and to benefit from the underlying megatrends in the industry, which will support the Group’s sustainable growth over the medium and long term.”

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