Finance Finance News CSL profit rises 3.4% despite US legal costs

CSL profit rises 3.4% despite US legal costs

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Blood products and vaccines maker CSL has lifted its first half profit 3.4 per cent after solid sales growth offset costs relating to a US lawsuit.

CSL made a net profit of $US646 million for the six months to December 31, up from $US625 million for the same time a year ago.

And the company expects its full year profit to be about seven per cent above the $US1.22 billion recorded in 2012/13, at current exchange rates.

The first half result was impacted by a $US64 million settlement relating to a US antitrust class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which was settled in October, related to allegations CSL and a competitor had conspired to restrict output and artificially increase the price for plasma-derived therapies in the US.

But, excluding the one-off-costs, chief executive Paul Perreault said the profit result was a positive one for CSL.

“The underlying result is solid and I’m also very pleased with the progress we’ve made in bringing new products to market and with the advances in our research and development pipeline,” he said.

Revenue increased to $US2.69 billion during the half, from $US2.57 last year, with solid sales growth for CSL’s immunoglobulin, albumin and speciality products.

Mr Perreault said CSL was optimistic about continued demand for its plasma therapies, despite strong competition.

“Our current capacity expansions and product innovations put us in a good position for the future,” he said.

“Competition is vigorous but I believe our philosophy of sustainable continuous improvement in everything we do is fundamental to dealing with these pressures.”

The company declared an interim, unfranked, dividend of 53 cents, up from 50 cents last year.