Australian pharma company CSL posts strong half year profit

Shares of Australia's CSL were down on Wednesday, despite posting a 10% increase in its first half year profit

Australian pharmaceutical company CSL has post its first half profit, with a 10.1% increase following stronger drug sales.

CSL said the increase was due to stronger drug sales in the US, allowing the company to raise their full-year guidance higher range than earlier provided.

Net proft for the six months to December 31 came in at $1.2 billion on a constant currency basis, lifting from last year’s $1.1 billion.

Sales revenue for the six months to December 31 rose 8.6 per cent to $4.342 billion, and CSL raised its interim dividend to 85 US cents.

'This is a solid result and particularly pleasing given it follows a very strong comparative period,' chief executive and managing director Paul Perreault said in a statement.

CSL, Australia’s fifth-largest listed company said in a statement that it expected fiscal 2019 net profit to be around the upper end of the provided range of $1.88 billion to $1.95 billion on a constant currency basis. The majority of CSL's earnings come from influenza vaccine sales by its Seqirus division.

In October, the company's influenza vaccine for use in people six months of age and older was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The company also said that demand for its plasma products were strong, and it plans to open between 30 and 35 new collection centres during the year

CSL's influenza vaccine business, Seqirus, delivered first-half earnings before interest and taxes of $300 million, compared to a full-year loss of more than $200 million three years ago, Mr Perreault said.

CSL share price

Despite the positive results, CSL Ltd shares were down 2.7% on Wednesday , at $188.44 at time of writing.

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