Positive start to year for listed biotech firm

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Biotech business, Benchmark Holdings, has reported revenues from continuing operations as being 18% ahead of the prior year in its unaudited results for the three months ended 31 December 2020.

The Sheffield-based company recorded revenues of £29m compared to £24.7m for quarter one in 2020.

Pre-tax losses from continuing operations were £0.5m, compared to £3.2m the previous year.

And adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations was £3m against £0.4m in Q1 2020. Benchmark says this reflects higher revenues, the benefit from cost reduction measures taken in 2020 and ongoing control of operating costs and R&D expenses.

Commenting on the market environment, Benchmark, which works in the aquaculture sector, says the salmon industry continues to be resilient through the ongoing pandemic, with continued investment in the emerging land-based salmon farming segment.

Trond Williksen

It adds the shrimp market remains “challenging” due to lockdown restrictions. The business notes there are partial signs of recovery in certain Asian markets as restrictions are eased, while conditions in the Americas continue to be difficult.

Trond Williksen, CEO, said: “We have had a positive start to 2021 with good trading, improved quarter one profitability and delivery against our strategic priorities in each of our three business areas.

“The benefits of operating as a streamlined, increasingly integrated aquaculture business are starting to be realised.

“Our focus remains on becoming sustainably profitable, maintaining financial strength through the ongoing pandemic and continuing to invest selectively in our business to deliver future growth.”

The positive results come after Williksen said in a recent interview that Benchmark’s CleanTreat product, which is expected to launch in calendar year 2021 will have a “transformational” impact on the industry and that he foresees Benchmark will “grow significantly over the years to come”.

The improved results follow a transformational year for the business which saw Williksen join the business in June 2020 and a refocusing on three core business areas.