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Benchmark Hlgs PLC (BMK)


Thursday 26 May, 2016

Benchmark Hlgs PLC

Trading Update and Notice of Results

RNS Number : 3431Z
Benchmark Holdings PLC
26 May 2016

26 May 2016

Benchmark Holdings plc
("Benchmark", the "Company" or the "Group")

Trading Update and Notice of Results

·      Trading in line with management's expectations

·      INVE integration progressing well with first operational synergies realised

·      Braintree manufacturing facility expected to enter commissioning by September

·      Encouraging progress in development pipeline

Benchmark, the biotechnology and food chain sustainability business, announces that Group performance for the six months to 31 March 2016 was in line with management's expectations.

The integration of INVE is progressing well, with operational synergies being realised through utilisation of INVE's distribution network to support the launch of the first of our new aquaculture vaccines from the Animal Health pipeline, and use of INVE's products in the Breeding and Genetics division's lumpfish programme. The Advanced Animal Nutrition division performed slightly ahead of management's expectations.

The Animal Health, Sustainability Science and Technical Publishing divisions all performed in line with management's expectations.

Benchmark's development pipeline is progressing well, with a new aquaculture vaccine targeted at the Mediterranean region expected to be commercialised this year. This vaccine was developed, is manufactured and will be distributed entirely by the Group. New vaccine manufacturing facilities at Braintree and aquaculture trials facilities at Ardtoe are coming online to provide the vital infrastructure to deliver the Group's development portfolio.

In line with guidance provided at year end, the Breeding and Genetics division has had a difficult first half as a result of the closure of the Chilean border to Icelandic salmon eggs. Recovery was slower than anticipated, aggravated by lower stocking in the Chilean industry in response to environmental challenges, with sales significantly impacted. The underperformance in this division was balanced by positive performance elsewhere in the Group.

El Niño has had an impact on the climate in South East Asia and Latin America and the algal bloom in Chile has reduced total salmon biomass across the Chilean industry. Climatic factors can have a significant influence on sales of aquaculture health products, salmon eggs or advanced nutrition, and while management continues to monitor the situation, the Company remains on track for the full year.

The long term drivers of growth in the Company's sectors are clearly positive. The Group's targeted expansion now allows Benchmark to offer an integrated package of products and services to its customers, and key account management is being introduced to strengthen the Group's ability to exploit the significant opportunities in the markets it serves.

Benchmark expects to announce its interim results for the six months to 31 March 2016 on Tuesday, 28 June 2016.

Commenting on trading, Benchmark's Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Pye, said:

"We have had a busy first half and made significant progress as we continue to develop Benchmark into a group that comprehensively serves the needs of our customers. The quality of our divisional management teams has been evident during the integration of INVE as they continue their work to realise synergies available to the enlarged Group.

"Our strategy of diversification is showing its value and importance, with half year performance in line with our expectations, despite the disruption caused by the border situation in Chile.

"Having completed the process of creating a scalable group structure, the outlook for Benchmark is extremely promising. The markets we serve are not transitory, but are the fundamental building blocks of a sustainable food chain. With all of the pressures being placed upon these industries, we are an increasingly important partner to our customers. Against this backdrop, we will continue our work to achieve our long term potential and create value, by launching the new products our customers urgently need and growing sales."




For further information, please contact:


Benchmark Holdings plc

Tel: 020 7920 3150

Malcolm Pye, CEO


Roland Bonney, COO

Rachel Aninakwah, Communications

Cenkos Securities PLC

Tel: 020 7397 8900

Ivonne Cantu / Stephen Keys (NOMAD)

Russell Kerr (Sales)


Tel: 020 7920 3150

Matt Ridsdale / Niall Walsh



Notes to Editors:

Founded in 2000, Benchmark represents a new model in sustainable business development. Over the last decade it has built a profitable group of companies on the economics of a sustainable food chain. The Company is growing in response to a rapidly increasing demand for sustainable food chains, and in particular for seafood, from both mature and emerging markets.

Benchmark is an ethical company with an explicit policy based on the "3E's" definition of a sustainable business - ethics, environment and economics - which guides its strategy and operations.

The group has five divisions: Animal Health which researches, manufactures and markets medicines and vaccines particularly for aquaculture, Sustainable Science which researches and informs sustainable development in the food industry, Technical Publishing which effects technology transfer through online publishing and education, Breeding and Genetics which comprises a world-leading Salmon and aquaculture breeding business, and Advanced Animal Nutrition which provides cutting edge nutritional products and services to the aquaculture industry. Benchmark operates internationally with offices in England, Scotland, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, USA, Brazil, China, Moscow, India, Thailand and Chile.  As at 1 May 2016, Benchmark employs 881 people.

For further information on Benchmark please visit



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