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2 January 2016

2015 Annual Report

Benchmark’s Annual Report and Accounts for the financial year ended 30 September 2015 is now available

The period under review was a year of transformational growth for Benchmark. We are delivering against the strategy first set out at IPO, and have been making significant investment in our infrastructure and technological capabilities across the business to create the solid foundations we need to realise our vision and stay ahead of the curve in our fast-paced markets.

Revenue growth in 2015 was underpinned by the performance of the Group’s Breeding and Genetics division formed through the acquisitions of SalmoBreed and StofnFiskur, which also contributed to more diversified revenue streams.

Post-period end, Benchmark completed the reverse acquisition of INVE Aquaculture Holdings (“INVE”) for a total consideration of $342 million, a transformational transaction which forms the Company’s final division – Advanced Animal Nutrition.  This acquisition immediately position Benchmark as a global leader in the shrimp and marine fin fish nutritional markets.

  • Revenue increased by 25% to £44.2m (2014: £35.4m), driven by Breeding & Genetics
  • Loss before tax of £11.4m (2014: £1.4m) as we accelerated investment in scientific R&D and felt the impact of a generic competitor to Salmosan/Byelice in Chile
  • EBITDA from Trading Activities of £2.4m (2014: £6.6m) as we invest in corporate infrastructure
  • Investment in scientific R&D (including acquired intangibles) increased to £8.8m (2014: £6.4m)
  • Loss per Share from Trading Activities of 1.13p (2014: Earnings per Share of 3.29p)
  • Basic loss per share of 5.96p (2014: Basic loss per share of 1.04p)
  • Net cash balance of £13.6m at period end (2014: £16.5m)
  • Successful integration and positive performance of newly created Breeding and Genetics division, which contributed revenues of £15.9m in the year and operating profit of £3.1m
  • Technical Publishing division showed significant improvement following targeted acquisitions, with revenue increasing to £7.0m (2014: £2.9m)
  • Continued progress on product pipeline and investment in R&D :
    • R&D spend increased to £8.8m
    • Product pipeline increased from 47 to 61
    • Hypocat on track for commercial rollout in 2018
    • Next generation capacity being developed at sites in both Ardtoe and Braintree
  • Integration of INVE progressing according to plan
  • Reverse acquisition of INVE for a total consideration of $342 million (approximately £227 million) of which $300 million (approximately £199 million) was paid in cash and $42 million (approximately £28 million) through the issue of 32,396,158 new ordinary shares
  • Financed by a placing to raise £185.7 million gross proceeds through the issue of 215,922,141 new Benchmark shares
  • INVE revenues and EBITDA for year ended 31 December 2014 were $89 million and $25.4 million respectively.  For the seven months ended 31 July 2015 INVE generated revenues of $60.6m and EBITDA of $15.2m. Since this date INVE has continued to trade in line with management’s expectations.  The integration of INVE is progressing well
  • Although the Chilean border closure announced on 6 November has lasted longer than originally anticipated, resulting in subdued sales for the Breeding and Genetics division, Sernapesca (the Chilean National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service) has announced its intention to reopen its borders by 25 February, and the Company has increased its marketing efforts in Chile in response.
  • The Company’s other divisions have made an encouraging start to the year.
  • Further information on INVE and the INVE acquisition including historical financial information on INVE and a proforma statement of net assets for the enlarged group can be found in the Company’s admission document published on 11 December 2015.

It has been a busy year for the Company. Following the acquisition of Salmobreed and Stofnfiskur last year we have successfully integrated the new Breeding and Genetics division, and are particularly proud of its contributions to the Group’s revenues.

Malcolm Pye

CEO of Benchmark

“Our strategy of diversification has proven successful, and that endeavour will be furthered again following the transformational INVE acquisition. Our continued investment into R&D has seen our product pipeline increase from 47 to 61, and we are continuing to develop cutting edge capabilities at our research and manufacturing facilities in Ardtoe and Braintree.”

“Benchmark has always been committed to targeted M&A activity, and has recently completed the transformational acquisition of INVE Aquaculture. This newest addition to the Group creates the fifth and final ‘cog’ in our gearbox, and allows us the increased reach and the platform needed to rapidly scale the Company.”