CSL annual profit drops 6% as weak plasma collections bite

(Reuters) – Australian biomedical giant CSL Ltd on Wednesday reported a 6% drop in annual profit as sales of core plasma therapies were hit following subdued collection of plasma, the key ingredient of its treatments, in the first half.

The company’s blood plasma collection business, its biggest profit generator, was impacted since last year as coronavirus infections curtailed physical movement, limiting plasma donations.

Chief Executive Officer Paul Perreault said the pandemic constrained “subsequent sales of core plasma therapies in FY22, given the long-term nature of our manufacturing cycle.”

CSL posted an underlying net profit after tax of $2.24 billion on a constant currency basis for the year ended June 30.

Plasma collections, however, had increased by 24% in fiscal 2022 and that would lead to improved sales of immunoglobulin and albumin going forward, Perreault said.

“Having said that, the pandemic has put us two years behind projected growth in plasma collections,” he added.

CSL, the fourth-largest listed company in Australia, forecast fiscal 2023 net profit after tax of $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion at constant currency, excluding the impact of its $11.7 billion acquisition of Vifor Pharma.

It declared a final dividend of $1.18 per share, unchanged from last year.

(Reporting by Roushni Nair and Jaskiran Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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