Animal breeding and genetics expert Benchmark (BMK:AIM) falls 3.6% to 66.5p as pre-tax losses in the year to 30 September 2015 rocket more than 700% higher to £11.4 million in 12 months.

This came despite revenue growing 25% to £44.2 million during the year with higher scientific R&D spend blamed for its widening losses, although this was only £2.4 million greater than it spent in 2014.

A bigger problem appears to be generic competition attacking its sea lice treatment in Chile.

Further issues in the South American country are hitting its breeding and generics operations in the current financial year as the authorities have halted the import of salmon eggs from Iceland. This is expected to be resolved towards the end of February, but is much later than was initially anticipated.

Web - Benchmark - 02 Febraury

To avoid such problems in future Benchmark bought fish nutrition specialist NVE Aquaculture for £227 million in October to enhance its revenue streams.

Benchmark helps businesses produce sustainable food, especially fish. One of its interests is developing vaccines for animals as an alternative to using anti-biotics. The company also has a medical publishing arm and provides consulting on sustainability issues. It customers include burger bar chain McDonalds (MCD:NYSE).

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Issue Date: 02 Feb 2016