CSL posts rise in full-year profit, sales as readies for new haemophilia product launches

CSL announced Wednesday that profit for fiscal year 2015 rose 6 percent versus the prior year to $1.4 billion, driven by demand for its biotherapies, with albumin and specialty products growing at double-digit rates. Meanwhile, sales in the 12-month period increased 2 percent to $5.5 billion.

CEO Paul Perreault remarked that the "results demonstrate our track record of delivering strong shareholder returns," adding "bioCSL is growing again with influenza vaccine sales increasing particularly well." CSL recently completed the acquisition of Novartis' influenza vaccine business, which Perreault noted makes the company "the second largest influenza vaccine manufacturer in the world."

Annual sales in the bioCSL unit grew 11 percent on a constant currency basis to 480 million Australian dollars ($351 million), while revenue from influenza vaccines lifted 18 percent to 145 million Australian dollars ($106 million). Perreault indicated that CSL will guide the market "over the next couple of months" on what impact the acquisition of Novartis' influenza business would have in fiscal year 2016.

In other results, full-year sales of immunoglobulin products grew 5 percent on a constant currency basis to $2.3 billion, led by demand for the intravenous immunoglobulin Privigen in Europe and the subcutaneous immunoglobulin Hizentra in both North American and European markets. In addition, sales of haemophilia products lifted 3 percent on a constant currency basis to $1 billion, while revenue from specialty products jumped 15 percent in constant currency terms to $923 million. CSL added that albumin revenue climbed 12 percent on a constant currency basis to $754 million, with China continuing to drive growth.

The company said that R&D spending in the year reached $463 million, with Perreault noting that fiscal year 2016 "will be a critical year in investing in our sustainable growth." The executive commented "a major investment in our commercial capabilities will be made ahead of our anticipated launch of new recombinant coagulation products in 2017." CSL has submitted marketing applications in the US and Europe for the recombinant coagulation factor IX with recombinant albumin CSL 654 and in the US for the recombinant factor VIII single-chain CSL 627.

For fiscal year 2016, the company said it "expects strong underlying demand for its products to continue...with sales growth similar to gains achieved" in fiscal year 2015.

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