CSL jumps again on strong first half

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A significant jump in net profit after tax for CSL in the six months to 31 December 2019 with strong growth in sales of immunoglobulin and flu vaccine.

The reported net profit after tax of $1,248 million was up 11 per cent on a constant currency basis, with sales of immunoglobin brands HIZENTRA and PRIVIGEN up 37 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

Revenue was also up 11 per cent on a constant currency basis compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, from $4,505 million to $4,980 million.

According to CEO and managing director Paul Perreault, “I am pleased to report a strong first-half result of the 2020 financial year. Our results reflect the focused execution of our strategy, robust demand for our differentiated medicines and a deep, inherent passion for meeting the evolving needs of our patients.”

Investors responded positively to the result, boosting the company's share price to almost $330, with its market capitalisation closing in on $150 billion.

Mr Perreault said the strong performance of its immunoglobulin portfolio was underpinned by patient demand and expanded labels.

“Albumin sales grew well in key markets with the exception of China, where we are transitioning to our new direct distribution model. This transition has seen overall albumin sales decrease 33%, which is in line with guidance," he said.

"The China transition is progressing well and will improve our participation in the value chain as well as allowing us to now work directly with clinicians. The availability of albumin to patients has not been impacted and reported sales are expected to return to a more normalised level in FY21.”

The company also reported strong growth for key brands in its haemophilia portfolio. 

"Overall specialty products growth, however, has been tempered by manufacturing capacity constraints in the production of HAEGARDA, following exceptionally robust patient demand since its launch. New capacity has now received regulatory approval, removing this supply constriction,” said Mr Perreault.

“Our Seqirus influenza vaccines business executed well and delivered another strong performance in the first half, driven by sales of new and differentiated products - FLUCELVAX and FLUAD.”

Mr Perreault said the company is well-positioned for sustainable growth. "Exceptional demand continues for our differentiated therapies. We expect to again outpace the market in expanding plasma collections and our objective to open 40 new collection centers this financial year is on track.”

“Seqirus is performing well, however, consistent with the seasonal nature of this business we anticipate it posting a loss in the second half of the fiscal year,” he said.

“We are upgrading our FY20 profit outlook today. CSL’s net profit after tax for FY20 is now anticipated to be in the range of approximately $2,110 million to $2,170 million at constant currency, representing approximately 10-13% growth over FY19. This growth incorporates the one-off financial impact of transitioning to a new direct distribution model in China,” added Mr Perreault.