viewBenchmark Holdings PLC

Benchmark shrugs off challenging shrimp market to deliver earnings growth

Benchmark expects full-year results to be broadly in line with market forecasts

The salmon market has seen growing demand and stable prices

Aquaculture and genetics firm Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK) said it was on track to meet its strategy goals as it shrugged off a challenging shrimp market to deliver a 25% rise in first-half earnings.

In the six months ended March 31, adjusted earnings (EBITDA) rose to £7.5mln from £6.0mln a year ago as revenue increased 3% to £78.3mln.

A strong performance in the genetics division offset lower revenue in the advanced nutrition business, which was hit by a tough shrimp market.

Benchmark said conditions in its core markets remain mixed with salmon seeing growing demand and stable prices but the shrimp market seeing depressed prices and a drop in production due to overstocking.

"We have delivered growth in adjusted EBITDA and made progress against our strategic priorities despite challenging conditions in the shrimp markets,” said chief executive Malcolm Pye.

“We continue to implement operational and structural efficiency initiatives and we expect the group to deliver broadly in line with market expectations for the full year.”

Pye added that the company has started to see the benefits from its investments, including the opening of a new facility in Salten, Norway, which has been well-received by customers.

He said these investments, combined with the successful completion of a refinancing on Monday, leaves Benchmark well placed to deliver on its five-year strategy to drive future growth and profitability.

Quick facts: Benchmark Holdings PLC

Price: 48 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £268.27 m

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