Benchmark has provided strong Q3 results, and a continued positive performance throughout FY22. The Company ended the year strongly, delivering better-than-expected trading across its three business areas in Q4.
According to the company, this has been due to strong demand for its salmon eggs in Q4, which were fulfilled through its recent investment in a new bio-secure incubation center in Iceland.
As a result, and subject to audit, the Benchmark expects to report Adjusted EBITDA in the range of £30m-£31m ahead of consensus market expectations of £27.7m.
In more detail, Advanced Nutrition saw a continuation of excellent performance throughout the year. Delivering revenues ahead of plan across all product areas. In Health, revenues from Ectosan® Vet and CleanTreat® reflect increased activity and customer uptake.
As previously announced, the company successfully refinanced the outstanding NOK 850m secured bond. Through the issue of an unsecured NOK 750m green bond despite very challenging market conditions.
However, against these positive trends and developments, heightened volatility in debt and currency markets has impacted financing costs including the currency revaluation of debt.
In addition to this, we have one-off costs associated with the redemption of the outstanding NOK 850 million bonds. It amounts £2.5 million. Net debt excluding lease liabilities on 30 September was £47.5m and cash was £36.4m following the refinancing.
The company has continued to progress towards a listing on Euronext Growth Oslo by the end of the calendar year 2022. The Company intends to uplist to the Oslo Børs, the leading seafood and aquaculture market globally, in H1 of the calendar year 2023.
The timing of both the listing on Euronext Growth Oslo and the intended uplist to the Oslo Børs is subject to market conditions. A broad range of analysts and investors attended the Capital Markets Day and site visit. It received positive feedback.
During the event, Benchmark's management presented key elements and relevant details of Benchmark's investment case. Also, its business areas, and growth opportunities and reiterated the Group's financial guidance.
"We are pleased by the strong end to the year. This is a continuation of the consistent performance in the business over the last eight quarters. Looking ahead, we have had a good start to FY23. The outlook for the business remains positive," CEO Trond Williksen.
Finally, he added: "Benchmark is a well-positioned, diversified business. It is able to take advantage of commercial opportunities in the main aquaculture species across the world. Also, to benefit from the underlying megatrends in the industry. This will support the Group's sustainable growth over the medium and long term."