CSL's First-Half Profit Rises 36%, Trims Year Forecast


CSL, the world's top maker of plasma products, beat analysts' forecasts with a 36 percent rise in first-half profit, but trimmed the top end of its full-year profit forecast due to currency swings.

The strong first half was underpinned by higher blood product prices and Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine sales, and it saw those factors supporting its outlook.

"We continue to anticipate stable to favorable market conditions for our plasma therapies business and a growing contribution from royalties associated with the international sales of Gardasil," CSL Managing Director Brian McNamee said in a statement.

CSL said it sees a full-year net profit of between A$670 million (US$615 million) and A$690 million.

It cut the top end of its forecast by 1 percent from a previous forecast, as it estimated moves in the Swiss franc and Australian dollar would shave between A$65 million and A$70 million off its profit.

The adjusted forecast was still largely ahead of analysts' expectations for the full year, which centre around A$673 million, or up 29 percent on last year, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net profit rose to A$348.7 million for the six months to December 2007 from A$257.3 million in the previous corresponding period, compared with analysts' forecasts of A$329 million.

Foreign currency effects wiped A$28 million off its profit.

CSL's shares have fallen 17 percent since touching a record high of A$38.05 four months ago, compared with a 13 percent fall in the healthcare index over the same period.