Benchmark Holdings, the UK business building a presence in the global aquaculture health and nutrition markets, has reported a smaller loss on 28% higher revenues from its latest full year of trading.

The Group made a loss of £7.1 million on revenues of £140.2m in the 12 months ended September 30th 2017, compared to a loss of £18.3m on sales of £109.4m in the previous year. Net debt at the yearend stood at £23.9m from a positive £0.4m previously.  The Group invested £21.5m in capital projects to increase its production capacity in genetics and animal health, and a further £15.2m in R&D

The latest year saw the Group integrate its aquaculture genetics, nutrition and health activities through a restructuring to create a “One Benchmark” ethos. This involved new board appointments and a revised management structure. The integrated Genetics division now includes salmon, shrimp and tilapia products, serving customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Five new aquaculture health products were launched, and field trials of a promising new sea lice treatment with a low environmental impact are underway. A new, increased capacity genetics facility in Norway is making good progress, and the Group has commenced the first commercial scale production at its vaccine manufacturing facility at Braintree in Essex, a former Novartis plant.

“2017 has been a year of significant operational and strategic progress for Benchmark Holdings,” comments chief executive Malcolm Pye. “Despite certain challenges, we have continued our focussed investment in the development of the Group’s pipeline and have put in place important technological, infrastructure and organisational building blocks.  Benchmark is now one of the leading global providers of advanced nutrition, genetics and animal health in the industry.

“The continued growing global demand for aquaculture products, the disease challenges faced, and pressure to limit the use of antibiotics, puts the group in a strong position to drive growth for many years to come.”