- Benchmark, the aquaculture biotechnology and food chain sustainability business, expects its performance for the year ended 30 September to be in line with the board's forecasts.

Benchmark says the integration of INVE is on plan, with the key account management programme progressing well and work on the first co-developed products has commenced.

An update says: "The ongoing effect of El Nino in south-east Asia and Latin America, and disease challenge coupled with low market prices in the shrimp sector, is resulting in delayed sector investment and lower growth rates in the short term in both regions.

"The group intends to proceed cautiously with new investments until there is more visibility on early sales, whilst continuing to progress core infrastructure projects which support long term growth such as the state of the art vaccine facility at Braintree which is now entering the commissioning phase."

Benchmark says the group is focusing on growing sales and market share in developing markets, including China, for its Breeding and Genetics and Advanced Animal Nutrition Divisions, and is actively exploring routes to market and strategic relationships in those regions.

The long term drivers of growth in the company's sectors, which include the growing global demand for aquaculture products and an ever increasing pressure to limit the use of antibiotics in the food chain, are clearly positive.

Benchmark offers an integrated package of both products and services to its customers, and they are increasingly recognising the significant value that this can deliver in terms of driving their productivity, sustainability and profitability.

Benchmark expects to announce its results for the 12 months to 30 September on 24 January.

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