CSL Says Net Profit Rises On Immunoglobulin, Specialty-Product Sales

By Mike CherneyFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Blood products and vaccine company CSL Ltd. (CSL.AU) said Wednesday annual net profit rose nearly 8%, reflecting growth in sales of immunoglobulin and specialty products.

CSL, which manufactures products derived from plasma, said annual net profit in the year through June was US$1.34 billion. It said underlying net profit rose 24% on a constant currency basis. Total revenue rose 13% to US$6.92 billion.

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The company declared a final dividend of 72 U.S. cents per share. That brings the full-year dividend to US$1.36 per share, an increase of 8%.

CSL expected net profit after tax to rise 18% to 20% on a constant currency basis, after adjusting for the one-off gains and costs associated with the acquisition of the Novartis vaccines business in the prior year.

"Our strong year reflects the successful execution of our strategy," said Chief Executive Paul Perreault. "We delivered on our promise to provide innovative medicines to patients with rare and serious diseases in more than 60 countries."

Looking ahead, CSL said it expected fiscal year 2018 net profit to be between US$1.48 billion and US$1.55 billion. It said it expects strong market acceptance for the newly approved Haegarda product and for the flu-vaccine unit Seqirus to continue its path toward profitability.

CSL, which competes with global rivals like Baxter International Inc., had raised its full-year earnings guidance in January, citing strong sales from immunoglobulins, used to boost a person's immune system and fight infections, and specialty products in the fiscal second quarter.

The company, which derives most of its revenue from outside Australia, benefited in the first half from supply constraints among its competitors, and continued to roll out more plasma collection centers in the U.S. and Europe. More recently, it acquired a majority stake in a Chinese plasma fractionator, opening up a strategic presence in the domestic Chinese market.

CSL said recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Haegarda, a therapy that treats hereditary angioedema. But it was dealt a recent setback when it was hit with a patent infringement lawsuit from a competitor over its Idelvion hemophilia treatment, a market where CSL had been expanding.

-Write to Mike Cherney at mike.cherney@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 15, 2017 19:13 ET (23:13 GMT)