- Food producer Benchmark Holdings wider losses in the first quarter of the year on lower revenue amid weak shrimp and Mediterranean seabass and bream markets.

For 2019, pre-tax losses widened to £5.94m from £5.87m on-year as revenue fell to £25m from £29m.

'The first quarter of 2020 saw a continuation of the trends seen in fourth, with weak shrimp and Mediterranean seabass/bream markets and oversupply of Artemia impacting sale volumes and margins in advanced nutrition,' the company said.

Advanced nutrition reported a £4.5m reduction in revenues to £11.4m from £15.9m last year.

Conditions in our advanced nutrition business continue to be adverse into the second quarter, the Benchmark said. 'Our priority for 2020 remains to deliver on our programme of disposals, restructuring and cost savings, which we have accelerated in light of the adverse conditions in advanced nutrition.'

'So far the impact from coronavirus has been minimal but we remain cautious given our exposure to the Asian end markets. To date the coronavirus has led to a suspension of shrimp imports to China, the world's largest consumer of shrimp, which has affected producers in Ecuador and India,' it added.

At 10:03am: [LON:BMK] Benchmark Holdings PLC share price was -5p at 34.5p

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