GM salmon producer AquaBounty on Tuesday posted a fourth quarter loss of $6.1 million (€5.1 million), nearly double the $3.4 million (€2.9 million) loss in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue in the quarter was $50,197 (€42,185), compared to $46,367 (€38,966) in the same quarter a year ago. Sales were impacted by the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on demand in the foodservice industry, which prompted AquaBounty to temporarily place a hold on commercial harvests of AquAdvantage salmon until April, the company said.

For the full year, the company reported a net loss of more than $16.3 million (€13.7 million), up from the $13.2 million (€11 million) it lost in 2019. Revenue for the full year was less than $128,000 (€107,560).

The company improved its balance sheet with $192.3 million (€161.6 million) in gross proceeds from the closing of underwritten public offerings of common stock in December 2020 and February 2021, providing the financing to fund the expected cost of building its third farm.

In the offering prospectus, AquaBounty warned that "significant" losses are expected for the foreseeable future, and added that it may never "achieve or maintain profitability" despite its ambitious plans.

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Headed to market

While the company raised conventional salmon during the pandemic, CEO Sylvia Wulf said AquaBounty has now fully switched to selling GM salmon. The company was harvesting conventional salmon to refine taste and work out any kinks in the supply chain and other logistics before launching GM salmon, she noted in a conference call in late February.

Wulf also said the company had sent out samples of its GM product to wholesale customers in anticipation of the sale.

The company plans to produce 100 metric tons of GM salmon per month at its Albany, Indiana, facility, which has a capacity to produce 1,200 metric tons of salmon per year.